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Towards a Normal Academic Standard

‘We are barely keeping our heads above water. Invest 1.1 billion euros. This is essential to restoring the level of Dutch university education to a Normal Academic Standard.’ With this message, teaching staff and scientists, students, administrators, employee representatives, trade unionists, PhD candidates and postdocs will sound the alarm on Tuesday 6 April.

Dutch universities are among the best in the world. This benefits all of society. Unfortunately, our universities are struggling due to being structurally underfunded. Although the number of students has been increasing for years, funding per student has dropped. This has left precious little time and financial resources to conduct high-quality research or deliver high-quality teaching, let alone both.

On the initiative of WOinActie, a broad coalition will demonstrate locally in all university towns on Tuesday 6 April and will jointly organise a national demonstration in The Hague to ask the newly elected Members of Parliament and the parties that will form the new government to invest 1.1 billion euros on a structural basis to eliminate the underfunding.

On the campaign website (, you can sign up and read the many testimonials of lecturers, professors, students, administrators and PhD candidates.

One of the testimonials is from Sofia Maza Angulo, junior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam: ‘If I work the hours that are in my contract, I sacrifice the quality of university education.’

VSNU President Pieter Duisenberg will also put on his red mortarboard and relate from experience how teaching staff and scientists are struggling to keep their heads above water.

Those who wish to declare their solidarity with this Alarm Day are urged to visit the website before Tuesday 6 April to sign up for one of the activities in the university towns or in The Hague. The website also contains a toolkit that you can use to declare your solidarity on social media.


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Ruben Puylaert


+316 13 86 10 69

Gijs Kooistra

Deputy spokesperson

+316 82 05 72 66