Mid February, the House of Representatives voted in favour of a VVD amendment allowing a capacity limit for non-Dutch-taught programme tracks. A majority no longer wanted to wait for outgoing Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf’s bill including the same measure.

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Constitutional mess

All of this did give rise to fundamental criticism on how things were handled. An amendment (proposal to change the law) normally concerns the bill being debated by the House of Representatives at that time. Which was the budget of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), not the higher education act. D66 called it “a constitutional mess”.

Tuesday, in the Senate, member for D66 Paul van Meenen repeated the objections, but he did express his substantive support for the possibility of setting an enrolment limit for non-Dutch-taught programme tracks. In other words, he wasn’t going to vote against the OCW budget over the amendment.

He did ask Dijkgraaf to make sure programmes properly justify the setting of such a capacity limit. If there are any doubts, the Inspectorate of Education must take action. Dijkgraaf guaranteed this will be the case.