Dutch students occupy universities

This is a Dutch video about the occupation of Amsterdam University in 1969.

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

Students have occupied lecture halls and university buildings in Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Utrecht and Rotterdam. Dozens of students entered the buildings, blockaded the entrances and hung up banners.

They are protesting against Education Minister Ronald Plasterk’s plans for cutbacks in higher education. They are particularly opposed to the abolition of the basic grant and are demanding that the universities and their umbrella organisation the VSNU reject the cutbacks.

The students have the support of the opposition Socialist Party. MP Jasper van Dijk says, “The more young people show their opposition to the cutbacks, the sooner the government will realise its plan is wrongheaded.”

Civil service working groups are currently looking for ways to save billions of euros in higher education. The SP is worried that the basic student grant will be changed into a loan of tens of thousands of euros and “studying will become a luxury item”.

The [British] government has been accused of “getting its priorities wrong” after it was announced that higher education teaching budgets would be severely affected by the £600 million worth of cuts across the sector: here.

Students Strike in California: here.

Students, parents, faculty, and union members in San Diego gather to build for March 4 protest against budget cuts: here.

Alex Fu describes police attempts to infiltrate the student movement against budget cuts at San Francisco State University: here.

4 thoughts on “Dutch students occupy universities

  1. Student protests continue over funding

    Tuesday 02 February 2010

    Students in Utrecht and Rotterdam continued their protests about proposals to reform student funding on Tuesday by taking over university administration buildings.

    On Monday, hundreds of students in Utrecht, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Nijmegen took part in the protests. They are angry that the national university council VSNU has refused to condemn a suggestion that the basic grant for all students be scrapped.

    ‘We have not voted in favour of anything,’ a VSNU spokesman told the NRC. ‘All we have said is that we are not negative about the idea of replacing the basic grant with a loan system.’

    At the moment, all Dutch university and hbo college students get a basic grant of either €93 if they live at home, or €260 if they live away. They can then borrow several hundred euros more, which needs to be paid back over 15 years.

    The review of student funding is one of a range of options being looked at by ministers as part of effort to save €35bn and get government finances back under control.

    © DutchNews.nl


  2. Netherlands: Students occupy to fight cuts

    Student resistance took the Dutch government by surprise last week. The government saw the economic crisis as a golden opportunity to push through 20 percent cuts to the higher education budget.

    But lecture rooms in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Nijmegen were occupied, and there were actions in Wageningen, Delft and Leiden. The details of the cuts have not been presented – they’re a public secret – but students decided to act before the government did. Students demanded university boards oppose cuts to student loans, and that the government stop cuts and invests in education.

    Although the actions were symbolic, all of the occupations ended in victory. In Utrecht, students stopped the abolition of the independent student newspaper. In Rotterdam, the university is allowing occupiers to use the lecture room they took over as a permanent action centre against cuts. About 70 percent of students supported the actions. Workers also supported them.

    The loudest cheers from the students in Amsterdam came when word reached us that the cleaners of the university had expressed their solidarity. It clearly shows what the real message of these students is – we will not pay for your crisis, and we won’t let our cleaners pay for it either.

    Max van Lingen, University of Amsterdam



  3. Pingback: Honduran students occupy universities | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Cutbacks threaten Dutch botany | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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