This is not visible at the universities. There are indeed more lecturers, but there are even more students. In 2012 there were 22 students per university lecturer, and that is still the case. There has actually been a fractional decrease.
The number of professors increased by 500 in that period, as well as an additional 1,200 university lecturers and another thousand ‘other’ teaching staff. Meanwhile, the number of students increased by 67,000.
The universities respond that, despite the additional funds from the basic student grant, the budget per student is decreasing. “The money is well spent, but it’s an uphill battle,” says spokesman Bart Pierik of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). “The money from the ‘student advance’ is hardly enough to stop the bleeding, so it is difficult to hire additional staff.” The universities’ research funding is not increasing along with the student numbers.
Is it not possible for universities to hire lecturers without a research assignment? Pierik says they are already doing that. “But you have to be careful that the academic content is not lost. We already have lecturers who do so much teaching that they have to do their research on Saturday mornings, so to speak. That situation is not sustainable. More money really needs to be directed towards university education, also in the interests of students.”
Three years ago, HOP reported that the universities were not on track. Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven thought that the extra teachers would definitely be found. At the time, she was working on ‘quality agreements’ with universities on the use of the basic student grant millions.
In Rotterdam twice as many students compared to teachers
The four technical universities have comparatively the most lecturers. In Rotterdam there are twice as many students per lecturer as in Twente; thirty compared to fifteen. This is remarkable because the technical universities actually complained that they were outgrowing their means. They received extra funding from this government at the expense of other universities.
The numbers of lecturers at universities of applied sciences has increased by approximately 2,000. According to the original calculations, universities should have at least 1,400 additional teachers by 2025, and universities of applied sciences 2,600.