Voorzitter College van Bestuur
In: Uncategorized24 Apr 2012
Last weekend, our country saw the demise and fall of its government, despite 7 intensive weeks of negotiations to reach an agreement on a package deal to meet EU criteria to cut our budget deficit. Alas, no such deal was reached and prime minister Rutte is back to the drawing board. I do hope that behind the scenes, serious work is being done to ensure that an adequate budget will be submitted to Brussels shortly. From the news, one would say that the topic ’du jour’ is when we can expect the next elections. Ironically, election dates seem more important than solving the nations most pressing problems. The US press has already suggested that Europe’s greatest liability is not Hollande, but Holland. Is anybody asking the question what went wrong in the way we conduct politics that we could end up in these dire straits? That we are now being compared with Belgium (no government for over a year) or even Greece? Some soul-searching would be useful before we jump into the next round of mud-slinging. For our sector, several unknowns remain. We assume that we will continue to implement the performance contracts as set out in the so-called Hoofdlijnenakkoord. It is of paramount importance that the government is a reliable partner: universities are accountable for targets (regarding study success, amongst other things) and the government is held to provide the commensurate funding. One of the proposed budgettary measures is the abolition of student grants, coupled with the simultaneous abolition of the ‘langstudeerdersregeling’. We support this measure under the condition that a meaningful part of the ensuing benefit will be ploughed back into our sector.
Pauline van der Meer Mohr is president of the Executive Board and is responsible for general administrative matters, such as the relationship with the Board of Trustees and the University Council. She focuses on the strategic policy, international affairs and external contacts, including the Rotterdam region, industry and other knowledge institutions.