The Netherlands

Recent developments:

  • Law on ‘Enhanced Governance Powers’ passed in 2016 with increased student involvement in university governance
  • New student funding system introduced in 2015
  • ‘Lighter’ programme accreditation introduced after 2015
  • Law regulating public sector salaries introduced in 2013

Organisational autonomy: medium high

The appointment of the members of the university executive board must be confirmed by the ministry. Universities decide on selection criteria, terms of office and dismissal. The members of the university supervisory board are all external and are appointed by the ministry. Universities can decide on their internal academic structures and may create legal entities.

Financial autonomy: medium high

Universities operate on a yearly budget and can freely allocate funds internally. They may keep surpluses and borrow money as well as own and sell buildings. Restrictions to financial autonomy apply to tuition fees for national and EU students for Bachelor and Master programmes, which are set externally. Universities may set fees for doctoral programmes and to international students.

Academic autonomy: medium low

In a system of free admission, Dutch universities cooperate with the ministry to regulate student selection. Prior accreditation of programmes at Bachelor and Master levels is required and universities cannot choose the quality assurance provider. Universities are free to terminate programmes, choose the language of instruction and design the content of academic programmes.

Staffing autonomy: medium high

Universities freely organise the recruitment and promotion of senior academic and administrative staff. Salary bands are negotiated with other parties and strict regulations apply for dismissal.

Organisational weighted 69% unweighted 76%

0

0% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is validated by an external authority

100

100% Selection criteria for the executive head

The selection criteria for the executive head are not stated in the law

This applies to 9 other countries: Austria, Wallonia, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom

100

100% Dismissal of the executive head

The procedure for the dismissal of the executive head is not stated in the law

100

100% Term of office of the executive head

The length of the term of office is not stated in the law

This applies to 5 other countries: Denmark, Wallonia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom

29

29% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

The appointment is completely controlled by an external authority

This applies to 5 other countries: Hungary, Luxembourg, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland

100

100% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints

100

100% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities can create legal entities without constraints

Financial weighted 77% unweighted 78%

60

60% Length of public funding cycle

100

100% Type of public funding

Block grant and there are no restrictions on the allocation of funding

100

100% Ability to borrow money

Universities can borrow money without restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Flanders, Wallonia, Latvia,

100

100% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept without restrictions

100

100% Ability to own buildings

Universities can sell their buildings without restrictions

This applies to 9 other countries: Austria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Wallonia, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 6 other countries: Croatia, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Ireland, Spain

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 5 other countries: Croatia, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Spain

100

100% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 8 other countries: Croatia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Serbia, United Kingdom

100

100% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

100

100% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

100

100% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

Staffing weighted 73% unweighted 72%

100

100% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

100

100% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

67

67% Salaries for senior academic staff

Salary bands are negotiated with other parties

This applies to 5 other countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, United Kingdom

67

67% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salary bands are negotiated with other parties

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Finland, Hesse, Iceland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway

20

20% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Spain

Dismissals are subject to other regulations specific to the sector

This applies to 8 other countries: Austria, Croatia, Flanders, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland

20

20% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 7 other countries: Croatia, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Slovenia

Dismissals are subject to other regulations specific to the sector

This applies to 5 other countries: Austria, Flanders, Ireland, Slovakia, Switzerland

100

100% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

Universities can freely decide on promotion procedures

100

100% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

Universities can freely decide on promotion procedures

Academic weighted 48% unweighted 57%

0

0% Overall student numbers

Free admission

This applies to 5 other countries: Austria, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Switzerland

40

40% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

60

60% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Flanders, Hungary, Slovenia, Sweden

40

40% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be funded

This applies to 3 other countries: Croatia, France, Spain

40

40% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be funded

This applies to 3 other countries: Croatia, France, Spain

100

100% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

100

100% Termination of degree programmes

Universities can terminate degree programmes independently

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

0

0% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities cannot select quality assurance mechanisms

0

0% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities cannot choose the quality assurance agency

100

100% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Universities can freely design the content of degree programmes and courses (other than for the regulated professions)