In a survey carried out by the Socialist Party (SP), almost half of the academic staff members stated that they were no longer able to do their jobs properly. The key reasons given were the heavy workload, bureaucracy and a lack of job security.
Around 1,000 academic staff members completed the SP survey. Seventy-two percent of the respondents stated that they must perform their work under considerable time pressure. According to 63 percent of the respondents, the workload has increased in the past ten years. Only 2 percent of the respondents are experiencing a reduction in the workload.
Little faith in the promise of additional lecturers
The SP presented Minister Bussemaker’s promise that an additional 4,000 university lecturers would be appointed to the respondents. According to the government, the money raised by the introduction of the student loan system will be used for these appointments. Seventy‑six percent of the academic staff members do not believe that the additional lecturers will actually be appointed, however.
Concern about flexible employment contracts
Many academic staff members are also concerned about the increase in the number of temporary and flexible employment contracts. Seventy-four percent of them believe that this increase is a negative development. Including doctoral candidates, over 60 percent of academic staff members are in temporary employment. Many of the respondents are of the opinion that capital is being destroyed and would like to see the number of flexible employment contracts reduced to a maximum of 20 percent. “Scientific work is by definition a long-term activity,” one of them explained.
Less than half of the respondents, 43 percent, are satisfied about the current quality of education. In addition, the lack of funding is a source of frustration to many researchers. Over two-thirds of them are dissatisfied with the funding of the university. They are also critical of the “commercialisation” of the university and believe that the focus is too much on quantity rather than quality.
Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk (SP) had already referred to the developments as “worrying”. In his view, the political policy of the past decades is to blame in that, because of the policy in place, funding did not keep pace with the large increase in the number of students enrolling. The SP therefore wishes to make additional funding available for education.