The majority of the Dutch population sympathises with the protest by lecturers and students, according to an opinion poll. Voters on the left are particularly sympathetic to the protests.

At the request of the Amsterdam student association ASVA, opinion researcher Maurice De Hond asked what the people thought about the protests in the Maagdenhuis and beyond. 1,200 respondents replied to ten questions.

CDA voters disagree

Seventy percent of Socialist Party (SP), Labour Party (PvdA) and Democrats 66 (D66) voters are sympathetic to the protests, while Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) voters don’t agree: only one in three Christian Democrats support the protests.

The protesters want more input and a more democratic executive board at the universities. Should students and lecturers be allowed to choose the executive board themselves? A small majority of 52 percent think they should, while 34 percent are opposed to the idea, according to De Hond. The rest of the respondents did’t have an opinion on the subject.

Interestingly, 40 percent of D66 voters don’t support such elections, despite D66 being the party for democratisation. Apparently D66 followers are not in tune with the party ideologists.

Little trust in executive board

Board members do not have the best reputation among De Hond respondents. Only six percent of them still have total faith in the board members of universities, universities of applied sciences, hospitals and other public-private organisations, while 17 percent have completely lost faith in them.

Only CDA voters think very differently: one in five generally have great faith in the board members and only three percent have become disillusioned.

The ASVA is happy with the opinion poll, says president Noeri van den Berg. “The results show that the majority of Dutch people really do understand the ideas of The New University.” HOP