Minister Dejgraf (Education) has allocated 45 million euros for higher vocational education in regions suffering from recession. This money should prevent these universities of applied sciences from deciding to phase out programs due to declining student numbers. Fontys Hogeschool is the largest beneficiary, with a contribution of approximately €8.5 million.
Awards go to eleven universities of applied sciences in the north, east and south of the country. Education, technology, agriculture and the natural environment programs in particular receive financial support. Gecraf wrote that in a letter to the House of Representatives Thursday afternoon.
“The vitality of the regions is a great advantage,” the minister said. With these additional resources, the social and territorial function of universities of applied sciences can continue to be maintained. Through these resources, students can continue to pursue courses relevant to their respective areas.
Prevent irreversible decisions
There are two types of contributions: First, “conservation contributions.” These should prevent programs from having to make irreversible decisions due to shortages. In addition, there are “transitional contributions” intended to improve “future proof” programs.
The eleven universities of applied sciences receiving funding are: Aeres University of Applied Sciences, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, HAS University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem and Nijmegen, and Van Hall-Larenstein University of Applied Sciences , HZ University of Applied Sciences, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Saxon University of Applied Sciences and Zuid University of Applied Sciences.
Contributions are not a superfluous luxury: approximately 10 percent of universities of applied sciences will see a contraction of more than 20 percent over the period 2010-2043. Some programs are already dealing with reducing student numbers in half or more.
In this way, we will prevent programs, for example in healthcare and technology, from disappearing due to declining student numbers in the coming years
The long-term effects of deflation
Minister Dajgraf warns that these provisions probably do not mean that all irreversible decisions can be avoided in the near future. There are universities of applied sciences and study programs that still have to deal with the effects of the downturn in the coming years.
Mr. Maurice Lehmen, President of the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, is pleased with the funds. In this way we prevent programmes, for example in sponsorship and technology, from disappearing due to lower student numbers in the coming years. Universities of applied sciences contribute significantly to the life and economic viability of the regions.”
Ultimately, the minister approved 104 applications for “shrinkage allowances” from universities of applied sciences. A total of 31.9 million euros will go towards continuing training and 13.1 million euros for transformation projects. Fontys University of Applied Sciences, with campuses mainly in Eindhoven and Tilburg, has received the most awards among the eleven professional higher education institutions; Almost 19 percent of all available funds (8.49 million euros).
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