ScienceGuide, a website for news and opinion on higher education and research, is in dire straits. The platform is going to shut down this week or disappear behind a pay wall. The latter will only happen if enough subscribers sign up.

“I regret the situation that an open and independent platform like ScienceGuide might have to stop,” writes outgoing minister Robbert Dijkgraaf. But he sees no reason to prevent it.

In the past, several universities supported the platform, but they quit. Maastricht University recently even demanded money back, claiming its agreement with ScienceGuide had already expired for two years. At the time, the university had just had a clash with the platform over its coverage.

Raising funds

“It is now up to ScienceGuide itself to raise sufficient funds”, the minister replied to written questions by GroenLinks-PvdA. Hogescholen and various organisations are still listed as ‘partners’ of the platform.

Dijkgraaf does not want to interfere. “It is the responsibility and choice of education and research institutes and umbrella organisations themselves to decide whether or not to give substance to (financially) supporting ScienceGuide and to have the conversation with them about this.”


Here and there, support for the platform can be heard, for example in the university council of Twente. “I understand that there are discussions about ScienceGuide’s journalistic principles”, said the council’s president, “but it would be a shame if there was a gap.”

The board supports the independent press and is looking at ‘ways to help ScienceGuide move forward’. Exactly what that means remains to be seen.

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