In exchange for the abolition of Dutch student grants, university councils in the Netherlands will gain a new instrument of power: the right of consent to the university budget. The Erasmus University Council thinks this power has to be extended to faculty councils as well.

During the negotiations about the student grants last year, the Dutch political party D66 (Democrats) was able to achieve a small victory: more power to the participatory boards, by giving them right of consent on the University budget. But only to the main concepts. In a letter to the Executive Board, the University Council is now asking that faculty councils should also have this right.

The new education law about this subject is quite vague about what those main concepts exactly are, and who shall have the right of consent: it says the Executive Board should obtain consent from another party, but it doesn’t define who that party should be. What exactly is considered ‘the main concept’ or what the protocols should look like, is also left to the Universities themselves.

The situation in Rotterdam is particularly interesting, because here, the distribution of financial resources takes place at faculty level. The Executive Board decides how much money a faculty gets, after which the faculty draws up a budget. For this reason the University Council feels the faculty councils should be involved in the decision making as well. TF