Budget for education, culture and science: summary of the discussion

Budget for education, culture and science: summary of the discussion

On Tuesday 14 May, the Senate discussed with outgoing Minister of Education, Culture and Science Dijkgraaf about his 2024 budget, and the internationalization of higher education in particular. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday, May 21.

Legislative quality

The debate revolved mainly around the consequences of the bill passed by the House of Representatives Martens-America amendment to introduce capacity reform. BBB Senator Van Knappen, who delivered his maiden speech, said that something must change about the current situation so that Dutch-speaking students can also receive an education in English. Bachelor’scan continue. He noted that it is important for educational institutions to maintain control over themselves. According to VVD Senator Geerdinck, there is no time to lose because accessibility for Dutch students is insufficient and there is not enough housing in some student cities. Universities themselves indicate that there is a need to reform capacities for foreign language courses, Geerdinke added.

There are a number of factions who are unhappy that this amendment has added a fundamental policy change to the budget law. D66 Senator Van Minnen said that this addition harms legislative quality. This amendment is not a technical amendment, but calls for a different substantive policy. Despite their dissatisfaction, the 66 Movement and other factions did not want to object to the entire budget. Van Minnen asked the minister to commit to testing the university’s use of the tool.

Senator Van Apeldoorn joined Van Minen’s criticism that adjusting the budget is not the desired path. He added that the Socialist Party fundamentally supports the amendment. According to Van Apeldoorn, it is very important to ensure access to higher education, especially Dutch language education. The SGP is also positive about the content of the amendment, but not about the method. SGP senator De Vries said his group feels almost forced to agree to a fundamental change, while the budget is in front of them. Moreover, advice from the Council of State is also needed because the consequences of the amendment cannot be calculated, De Vries said.

The internationalization bill is in the balance

The outgoing minister Discuss Dijkgraaf briefly Law of internationalization in equilibrium Which he presented to the House of Representatives yesterday. This law concerns measures to better manage the flow of international students into higher education. He sees the draft law as a tool and a guide on how to use that tool.

The Minister said he understands the desire to amend Martens America’s budget, but also shares constitutional objections with the Senate. He described it as “unusual and even undesirable” to make a fundamental amendment to another law through the budget law. But Dijkgraaf said the House of Representatives added the amendment and it is now up to it to implement it.

Dijkgraaf also said that there was “no light at all” between the detail of the amendment and the Balanced Internationalization Act bill. In response to Van Meenen, he said he could not promise external testing, but would make clear to universities what their options were. He also pledged to monitor and evaluate the impact of the amendment on a large scale.


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