The VVD (People’s Party of Freedom and Democracy) feels that universities lack sufficient political diversity. That’s why the party of prime minster Mark Rutte wants Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education to carry out a study into the political affiliation of universities, a proposal the Minister believes is nonsense. “We’re not about to turn universities and universities of applied sciences into politically correct organisations.”
During a debate in the Lower House on Wednesday, Member of Parliament Pieter Duisenberg (VVD) said he has received ‘various reports’ that there is evidence of a lack of diversity in political affiliation at universities. Such a situation is undesirable because, according to Duisenberg, a predominant political affiliation results in similarities in research findings. He also feels that certain academics are excluded due to this situation.
Bussemaker was vehement in her response to these accusations. “I am not going to do this. We’re not about to turn universities and universities of applied sciences into politically correct organisations.” Science is about the content, emphasised the Minister. “Making an inventory of political preferences is completely at odds with this.”
Thanks to socio-political pillarisation there’s already a great deal of diversity in science, said the Minister. “Universities and science need dissenting views. Political diversity is essential so that debates, while retaining impartiality, can take place across the board.”
Dissenting views are essential to the university and to science
However, Duisenberg was not satisfied with these answers. He is considering submitting a motion in which he will ask for the study to be carried out.