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Only promises

Suppose I find that education is the most important issue in the elections. Which party should I vote for?
Stephan Potkamp, Barendrecht

It depends on how you look at it, says Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) spokesperson Bastiaan Verweij. “For example, there are some parties in favour of reinstating the basic student grant. But the funds that became available when the basic grant was discontinued are used by other parties to invest in the quality of education. Which is better?” Hence, VSNU can’t give a political voting recommendation. “But we do recommend reading the programmes carefully, because once again, they’re promising all kinds of things.”

What is comforting is that all the parties find education and research important. But Verweij makes a finer distinction here: “The real question is which party will actually invest by providing extra funding? CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis is currently analysing the calculations. Without the answer to this question, you only have their promises.”

No inaccessible citadel

In the past there was a closed off fence around the perimeter of the campus, but this isn’t the case nowadays. Why is that? And who comes here at night?
Leendert Reins, Rotterdam

According to the EUR spokesperson, the campus is officially deemed private grounds, but it is open to the public. “We don’t want a closed campus as we aren’t some kind of ‘inaccessible citadel’. For example, if you want to you can come here as a visitor to have lunch, attend a seminar or borrow a book at the Leeskabinet.” But in spite of this, due to the private grounds status, transients and fundraisers aren’t automatically welcome on the grounds.

And who comes here after office hours? First and foremost: students. Keep in mind there are lectures until 22:30 and it’s possible to study until midnight in the Polak building. Then there are students who live on campus so they can also be found on the grounds. And don’t forget ‘regular’ people who walk across campus to get to the underground station or use the parking garage when visiting Excelsior.