What are the current budget cuts by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW)?

The OCW is imposing an ‘efficiency budget cut’ (doelmatigheidskorting) on education as a whole. For Scientific Education (WO) this means a cut of 16,1 million euros in 2019, rising to 32 million euro in 2022 and 2023. For HBO this means a cut of 8,8 million euros in 2019, rising to 17,5 million in 2022 and 2023. The OCW is also applying a lump-sum discount in the upcoming year for both HBO and WO, of 19,5 million euros.

What is the problem with the doelmatigheidskorting? 

The doelmatigheidskorting is being implemented across the entire education system, which means cutting costs across the board by making education more efficient and thus closing a gap in the budget. However, education has already been stripped down to the bone in recent years and there have been so many cuts on support staff that is is no longer possible to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of education.

What about the financing of higher education?

Universities and colleges receive a contribution from the government, the so-called government grant. This government grant is based on the number of students who are within their nominal study-duration and the number of diplomas obtained at the institution, for the education part. The research part of the grant is based on the number of diplomas and promotions. The government grant hardly increases with the same size as the number of students.  This is mainly due to the fact that the total amount of government funding can hardly be increased, while the amount of students in higher education is rising. This means that the amount of money per student is going down. Universities receive the money as a so-called lumpsum: this means that they get a proverbial bag of money, which they can distribute according to their own discretion within their institution.