Experiments with Truth: Analysis

Dutch student protests ignite movement against management of universities

On 24 February 2015, mounted police, live television crews, protestors and crowds of onlookers surrounded a building called the Bungehuis, a six storey art deco style construction that currently houses the University of Amsterdam’s humanities faculty. The building is scheduled to be converted into a luxury hotel and spa complex as part of an international chain of private members’ clubs called Soho House.

Only 11 days earlier dozens of students had occupied the Bungehuis in response to a programme of sweeping changes that the university’s administration was apparently unwilling to discuss.

The students’ demands for a “new university” included greater democratisation of university governance, greater transparency of the university’s finances, halting plans to restructure and cut a number of departments, a referendum on plans for departmental mergers with other universities, better conditions and protections for temporary staff, and an end to risky financial and property speculation with university funds.

More Follow External Link to Jonathan Gray, The Guardian