“Universities can make a big contribution to keeping the knowledge sector in shape and consequently stimulating the economic health of the Netherlands”, says Sijbolt Noorda, chairman of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the universities say there are three ways of aiding the economy: Holding on to talent, strengthening the knowledge-based economy in a sustainable and selective way and speeding up investments that have proven useful and necessary.

Businesses may now be forced to let go of talented workers. Universities however should take more talented people in though, through public-private cooperation. This way, talent can be kept in Holland and later return to working in the business sector. Strengthening the knowledge-based economy can be achieved by using European funds more effectively. There is European money available. However the authorization process at the institutional level can be improved in some cases. Furthermore, speeding up investments in buildings of in between 2 and 2.5 billion euro will help the construction industry and thus the national economy. NUFFIC