“To restrict the academic freedom is something which we do not believe fits in a open society and is therefore condemnable”, the Executive Board writes in a statement on the university’s website. “We believe that our scientists and professors should be able to do their work in all freedom. Both, in the field of education as well as research. Within this, there is room for all mindsets. Of scientists, teachers and of students.”

stemlokaal c-hal tweede kamerverkiezingen 2017 (3)

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Baudet: ‘We are being undermined by our universities’

The political party Forum voor Democratie won the most votes in the Dutch provincial…

'Universities are undermining society'

Over the past few days, several universities responded to the Forum voor Democratie (FVD) ‘indoctrination hotline’ and Thierry Baudet’s winning speech. In that speech, the FvD leader said that ‘universities are undermining society’. The rector magnificus of Maastricht University, Rianne Letschert, responded on twitter: “Setting up a hotline goes against everything Maastricht University stands for: independent academic pursuit, academic freedom and being a safe learning and working environment.” University of Amsterdam’s Chair of the Executive Board Geert ten Dam shared this viewpoint and called the hotline ‘disrespectful’.

Scientific society KNAW and university association VSNU currently see insufficient cause to respond to Baudet.


Universities and KNAW feel no need to counter Baudet’s criticism

Last week, politician Thierry Baudet had harsh words for the Dutch universities. The…


On Wednesday, a group of scholars in Nijmegen called upon their Executive Board to take a stand against the accusations of Baudet. Such a call to action did not arise in Rotterdam, according to a spokesperson for the Executive Board. “We thought it a good idea to send a clear signal after all the commotion that was started after Baudet’s remarks concerning universities and the party’s hotline.”

In Groningen, the fact that Paul Cliteur (professor in Leiden and prominent FvD party member) would be visiting, caused unrest; he will be giving a presentation there during the event Nacht van de Filosofie (English: A Night of Philosophy). Groningen’s Ukrant (a university newspaper) wrote that philosophy students and lecturers are outraged at Cliteur’s visit.

FvD party leader Baudet will be a guest at the Erasmus University on 11 April. He will be speaking at the annual conference of study association In Duplo, in the Erasmus Paviljoen, and will be debating about the energy transition with Jan Rotmans, Professor in Transition Management and Sustainability.