The national protest movement #WOinActie, which so far hasn’t made many waves in Rotterdam, is calling on the government to scrap the ‘efficiency abatement’ and reinstate student-based funding.

In the open letter to what he calls his ‘friends of #WOinActie’, Schinkel writes that academics should put their own house in order first. According to the professor, they should take a close look at the issues that are actually caused by how the universities’ own ‘power machines’ are organised rather than asking the government for extra money.

“Before turning to the government for funds that can be fed into that power machine, (…) you should develop a perspective on this phenomenon that we are all – in all sorts of asymmetrical ways – participating in. Instead we see dignitaries donning pieces of red felt, gentlemen who deign to lecture outside by way of protest – these actions merely highlight what has become normalised within their institutions: what they’re asking money for,” writes Schinkel.

Perverse points systems

Schinkel also believes that academics should take a good hard look in the mirror first when it comes to ‘perverse points systems’ within their faculties, the ‘endless increase’ in international students and growing workloads. “We shouldn’t be wanting more money for this university – we should stop wanting this kind of university altogether.”