News of the Week 16

What's happened in week 16? House majority against higher tuition, PhDs at companies, difficulty excelling in the law faculty and more.

House majority against higher tuition

thumb-leenstelsel-bussemakerA majority in the Dutch House of Representatives opposes higher tuition fees. PvdA wants education minister Jet Bussemaker to withdraw her proposal for higher tuition fees for excellence tracks. The party suspects charging higher fees for excellence tracks will make them off limits to students who cannot afford them.

With the implementation of a loan system this fall, Bussemaker says that she ‘sees no reason to differentiate the tuition fees’. Other parties are also against the fees, and the VVD is furious: the proposal was approved by the former cabinet when performance agreements were made between the government and universities.

PhDs at companies

thumb-wetenschap-promovendiThe House of Representatives sees potential in VVD plans to let technicians get their PhD while working at a company. According to representative Pieter Duisenberg’s ‘industrial doctorates’ plan, employees at companies can get their PhD under supervision from a professor on the company’s dime.

FME, a business organization for the technology sector, is pleased with the plans. ‘Businesses in technological industries invest a lot in research and innovation, and they often do this in collaboration with knowledge institutes. To stimulate and deepen this collaboration, it’s a good plan to implement industrial doctorates,’ chairperson Ineke Dezentjé Hamming says.

Excelling becoming difficult for law students

thumb-rechten-rechtsgeleerdheidStudent party TBR has notified the board of the law faculty that, due to smaller studies ending and the limited availability of video lectures, students have little opportunity to excel. Faction chairperson Kor van Dijk says it’s mostly courses with only ten to fifteen students, but that those smaller courses can be a unique selling point for the faculty.

TBR also wants video and audio recordings of lectures made available for bachelor students doing internships or studying abroad. The majority of recorded lectures are only published two weeks before exams, and instructors anticipate lower attendance numbers if everything is online.

Amsterdammers demand university council steps down

thumb-aftreden-uva-amsterdam-protestMore than 300 instructors at the University of Amsterdam call for the university board to step down. Students had planned to leave the building on Monday, but the university board had the building cleared with permission from a judge.

Employees called the evacuation of the Maagdenhuis by riot police ‘the umpteenth blunder by the board.’ Ten students were arrested and five remain in police custody. The university claims protestors caused 5,000 euros in damages. Hundreds marched in Amsterdam on Monday, and the protestors have also gotten support from Groningen, according to New University spokesperson Floor Mertens.

Chlamydia cases increasing ‘alarmingly fast’

thumb-seksThe number of chlamydia infections is increasing at an alarming rate, the Area Health Authority (GGD) warns. In 2013, 526 people had the infection in Groningen, and that jumped to 715 in 2014.

HIV is much less common but also on the rise, particularly among young gay men. The number of gonorrhoea infections went from 46 in 2013 to 58 in 2014, increasing among young straight women especially, but syphilis infections decreased by 40 per cent. In total, 5,058 people were tested for STIs last year, and the majority were younger than 25.