Press releases and news

Provisional enrolment figures at universities equal to last year; sign that more pre-university students are taking a gap year

In the 2022 academic year, approximately 340,000 students are enrolled at a university. This is similar to the previous academic year, according to the provisional enrolment figures of the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL). While around 4,000 more students are enrolled in Bachelor’s programmes, there are around 4,000 fewer students enrolled at Master’s level. This makes the total number of enrolments roughly equal to last academic year. UNL President Pieter Duisenberg: ‘The stabilisation of student numbers at our universities gives us the space to use the substantial investments from the coalition agreement to get the fundamentals in order when it comes to workloads and more time for research. However, the expectation is that student numbers will continue to increase in the years ahead. In the future study with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, we will examine what this will require from universities and from measures taken by the ministry.’

Programme Digital Society Conference 2022

Launch of national platform for threatened academics

Academics regularly face threats, harassment and hate speech. To address this issue, Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) are launching the platform WetenschapVeilig today. Academics who are being threatened or harassed can visit this website ( 24 hours a day for help. UNL President Pieter Duisenberg: ‘Academics fulfil a crucial social function. It is unacceptable that they should have to face threats, harassment and hate speech in their work. This has an enormous impact on our people, and we view such threats as an attack on academic freedom. With the launch of WetenschapVeilig, we wish to support our academics as best as possible.’

Dutch knowledge institutions sign European Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment

The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Dutch Research Council (NWO), Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) and each of the 14 individual universities sign the European ‘Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment’. This agreement between the European Commission, Science Europe and the European University Association (EUA) endorses the objectives of the national Recognition & Rewards programme. The agreement contains arrangements about how research results must be assessed in order to enhance the quality and impact of the research, but also ensure integrity. In addition, attention is explicitly given to recognising and rewarding academics for the various tasks they perform. In total, 350 organisations from more than 40 countries have indicated that they will sign the agreement. ZonMw also intends to sign.

Research universities and UMCs present ambition statement for animal-free innovations in academic education

Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) and the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) have joined forces to present an ambition statement for animal-free innovations in academic education.

Universities of the Netherlands to launch website about its approach to the teacher shortage

Universities of the Netherlands is working on various projects, together with the Interuniversity Committee for Teacher Training (Interuniversitaire Commissie Lerarenopleidingen, ICL) and partners in the field of education, to train more academically trained teachers and make sure they stay in this profession.

Solid boost for education and research with first €60 million for profiling and cooperation

Minister Dijkgraaf today approved the first part of the university sector plans based on the positive recommendation of the National Sector Plans Committee. The Minister will make a total of €60 million available for 2022. In the spring of 2023, the remaining funds – amounting to a structural total of €200 million – will follow. Pieter Duisenberg, president of Universities of the Netherlands: 'We are making substantial investments in the foundations of universities by means of the sector plans. For example, universities and university medical centres wish to appoint around 1500 extra FTEs in the coming years. This will allow us to seriously reduce the workload and make a targeted contribution to major social challenges such as the digital transition, climate change and safety.'

Budget Day: substantial investments in universities and concerns about cost increases

Substantial investments will be made in universities in the coming years, totalling more than €1 billion per year in higher education and research. Before the summer, universities reached an administrative agreement with Minister Dijkgraaf regarding the allocation of these investments. On this basis, the 2023 Dutch national budget earmarked €300 million for starter and stimulation grants and €200 million for sector plans. The government is also investing in other areas such as student well-being, research facilities and knowledge security.

National Action Plan for Student Accommodation: 60,000 additional student housing units by 2030 

The shortage of student accommodation has grown continuously in recent years. According to the National Student Accommodation Monitor (Landelijke Monitor Studentenhuisvesting), presented today, there is now a shortage of almost 27,000 student housing units. The shortage is expected to increase to a total of 44,800 units in the twenty largest university cities by the 2029/2030 academic year. The National Action Plan for Student Accommodation (Landelijk Actieplan Studentenhuisvesting) was signed today to address this problem. The plan presents agreements among the government, accommodation providers, universities and student organisations on actions to be taken over the next years. The action plan’s goal is to make an additional 60,000 affordable student housing units available over the 2022-2030 period. 

Universities starting the new academic year together!

On Monday 5 September all Dutch universities will be starting their academic year. This time the Opening of the Academic Year (OAY) has a specially festive aspect because this year the first of the new government investments are reaching universities.


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