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Point 10: Reminding the government of its responsibilities

The UvA has raised a number of topics with the government, including workloads, funding, internationalisation/language policy and diversity.

Meetings, networking talks and conferences have been held to improve ties with national stakeholders in the political arena and beyond. These events included individual working visits that have been and are being scheduled for several members of parliament (higher education/science spokespersons), regular contact with the Ministry and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), and working together with other VSNU members to promote the interests of Dutch universities. 

In autumn 2017, the UvA's Executive Board became the first university administration to sign the WOinActie petition to draw attention to the lack of funding and excessive workloads. The Executive Board maintained regular contact with the WOinActie initiators in the subsequent months. Writing in Dutch daily Het Parool, President of the Executive Board Geert ten Dam pointed out the chronic lack of funding in higher education and the need to tackle workloads on several occasions.

With regard to the use of English in higher education and internationalisation in a broader sense, Rector Magnificus Karen Maex worked hard to promote the UvA's conscious decision to be a bilingual university. She did so by writing opinion pieces in national newspapers, participating in a debate at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and highlighting the scope and consequences for the UvA of the existing legislation on internationalisation in her speeches. In addition, the UvA worked with the VSNU to educate members of parliament about the practical aspects of internationalisation policy. 

On 6 July 2017, the Executive Board welcomed the Minister of OCW to the UvA for the conference 'Naar een meer inclusief Hoger Onderwijs' ('Towards a more inclusive Higher Education'), organised jointly by the UvA and the Ministry of OCW. By hosting this conference and shaping the programme, the Executive Board stressed the importance of diversity and role models to the UvA.