This information comes from the government’s Spring Memorandum, which the Cabinet formally adopted last Friday, writes NOS. Part of the extra funding is intended to promote science subjects and technical curricula. The Rutte III government believes that science degree programmes are important for future Dutch prosperity. The coalition agreement stipulates that higher education funding has to pay ‘specific attention’ to technical programmes.
Last year, NOS reported – even before the Spring Memorandum was released – that the education sector could expect a 200 million euro budget hike. This prediction proved somewhat premature. The Ministry of Education was ultimately allocated a mere 63 million euros to plug its budget deficit.
It will soon become clear how much the Cabinet will actually be investing in education, when the Minister of Finance presents the Spring Memorandum to parliament – which will be 1 June at the latest. The announced investments could create some headroom during the revision of the existing funding methodology for the higher education sector.
Education Minister Van Engelshoven has commissioned a study to determine the optimal distribution of the current education budget. The responsible committee, presided over by former State Secretary Van Rijn (PvdA), will be sharing its recommendations in late May.
It was previously speculated that the committee would advise Van Engelshoven to transfer millions of euros from humanities programmes to science and technical programmes. This drew a shocked response from the academic community. But according to the Minister, the humanities are actually of “vital importance”. She believes there is no cause for concern.