Social safety debate


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The time for research on social safety is over, Minister Dijkgraaf said in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. It is especially important to improve the situation in higher education, he said, for both students and staff.


Political party Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) referred to a thorough investigation by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences into social safety at universities and knowledge institutions. Have such kind of research conducted for students as well?, was the exhortation of Parliament member Habtamu de Hoop.


Not necessary, Dijkgraaf replied. "As far as I am concerned, we have passed the phase of research. I think it is high time to start taking action," he said.


Parliamentarian Jeanet van der Laan (D66) drew special attention to the situation within student associations, which, according to current affairs programme Pointer, are not well prepared to deal with issues of misconduct. She pointed to the role of universities and colleges in this. "I actually think they should make hard agreements with student organisations and guide and maybe even train them," she said.


Dijkgraaf understood that comment. Associations should first of all have their own social safety in order, he underlined, but the institutions have something to do with it. "Often there is a financial relationship. They actually subsidise those associations with board grants et cetera." So they can oblige associations to pay attention to social safety, he continued. He also plans to engage with the associations, Dijkgraaf said. The cabinet will come up with an "integrated plan" around social safety within institutions this spring. (HOP, BB)