european students’ union

BM75: Budget cuts in Higher Education

December 10, 2018

BM75_Budget cuts in Higher Education

In Europe, more and more countries are starting to cut on their budget for higher education. This has a negative influence on the quality of our education and on the workload of professors. European countries should not cut down on the budget of higher education.

In The Netherlands, the budget cuts are causing a lot of trouble. Due to a rising student-teacher ratio, universities have to put more students in one class, making it harder or impossible for students to get direct feedback. In lecture halls, some lectures are so overcrowded that students have to sit on the stairs instead of chairs, or are even unable to attend lectures at all. The workload of professors is getting so high, that absence rates are increasing and resignation rates are increasing, draining highly qualified teachers and academics from Higher Education Institutes. It becomes obvious that this has a negative influence on the quality of higher education in The Netherlands.

In Italy from 2008 to 2015 the cuts on education amounted to 369 million euros. This resulted in an increase in tuition fees by 236 million euros, in the decrease in the quality of education of the university buildings and services and in 296.349 fewer students. The current year’s Budget Law envisages cuts on education by 29 million euros, of which 15 to Higher Education. Against this cuts, UDU organised a day of demonstration for the 16th November, that has involved an estimated number of 100.000 students.

In Germany, the number of students increased around 30% in the past ten years but the financing of the universities has not been adapted to this situation. This creates a really precarious situation for the universities and is bringing them to higher demand external funding. Most, unfortunately, competitive fundings are often focused on applied technical research and don’t contribute to teaching and learning related resources. Governmental funding in Germany has become really quantified and bound to indicators like finishing the studies within the allocated time. Not just third party fundings, but also governmental program became more and more project-based, which makes long-term plannings for
the universities and for the employees impossible. 

ESU calls upon all the European governments and especially the Italian government, the Dutch government and the German government to intervene, reverse budget cuts and to work towards spending 2% of the BBP on higher education.

Proposed by: LSVb, UDU

Seconded by: ÖH, ISO

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