Other UAS funding model required for economic support regions

BUas president Jorrit Snijder endorses: “Every Region Counts!”. BUas wholeheartedly supports the VH plea “UAS for broad prosperity”. Although Breda University of Applied Sciences is closely connected to the rapidly growing Brainport region, various other and adjacent regions in the Netherlands will be severely affected by the impoverishment of education and research provision if policy remains unchanged, with seriously negative consequences for vitality and economic development of those regions.

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A permanent solution to the funding model for higher professional education is inevitable to continue creating broad prosperity outside the Randstad conurbation as well. This is the core of the advisory report entitled Hogescholen als Motor voor Brede Welvaart in álle Nederlandse Regio’s (Universities of Applied Sciences as Drivers of Broad Prosperity in all Dutch Regions) by the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, which was initiated by nine universities of applied sciences outside the Randstad. The advisory report was handed over to outgoing education minister Dijkgraaf and to the party chairmen and education spokespersons in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Another funding model is essential since the current funding model is based on student numbers and thus sensitive to shrinkage and ageing. This puts pressure on the programmes on offer in higher professional education in regions outside economic core areas, and with it, the broad prosperity of those regions. This while, according to last year's report Elke Regio Telt! (Every Region Counts!), knowledge institutions actually give "an enormous boost to the regional ecosystems, the connection with the job market and thus the prospects for residents.”

Differences in broad prosperity too big now

A reduction in the programmes and researches on offer in these regions would be disastrous, as it would be at the expense of the vitality and economic development of those regions. Every Region Counts! emphasises the importance of regions and the disparity in regional broad prosperity created by existing policy. Because between regions, differences in broad prosperity have become too big  and this leads to unequal opportunities for citizens. The universities of applied sciences therefore want a flat-rate basic grant in funding similar to that of research universities, so funding becomes more stable. Moreover, the current differences in flat-rate basic grants between hbo and wo cannot be rationally explained.

Other permanent solutions are:

  • Integrate the regional function of universities of applied sciences into the Dutch Higher Education and Scientific Research Act (WHW) with corresponding funding. As a result, mark the role of universities of applied sciences in the regional education, innovation and knowledge ecosystem in the law and funding. Fund a larger share on a flat-rate basic grant basis than is currently the case.
  • In addition, provide a scheme that helps to maintain or develop vulnerable/vital programmes with an important regional function. This will ensure that a broad range of hbo programmes (levels 5-8) remain accessible in every region. And make a budget available for universities of applied sciences that, due to specific regional developments, need an extra financial boost to continue fulfilling the regional role.
  • More structural resources for practice-oriented research with a stable basis, by:
    1. making funds for practice-oriented research from the Fonds voor Onderzoek en Wetenschap (Research and Science Fund) structural;
    2. increasing the government grant for research at universities of applied sciences.

Weigh the regional relevance of new programmes on offer when it comes to assessing the macro-efficiency of new study programmes by the Commissie Doelmatigheid Hoger Onderwijs (Commission for Higher Education Effectiveness). Current regulations prolong the downward spiral of shrinkage and reductions.


In cooperation with the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, the nine initiators of Hogescholen als Motor voor Brede Welvaart in álle Nederlandse Regio’s (Universities of Applied Sciences as Drivers of Broad Prosperity in all Dutch Regions): Hanze (Groningen), NHL Stenden (Friesland and Drenthe), HZ (Zeeland), Zuyd (Limburg), HAN (Gelderland), HAS green academy (North Brabant and Limburg), BUas (North Brabant), Van Hall Larenstein (Friesland, Gelderland) and Saxion (Overijssel and Gelderland).

For more information, please read this (in Dutch).