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Scientists take action for better working conditions

Image: Ingrid Robeyns

Researchers and lecturers in the Netherlands have started the academic year by holding protests against deteriorating work environments and increasing performance pressure.

The protests took place on 2 September, the official start of the Dutch academic year. They were organised by WO in Actie—Higher Education in Action—to draw attention to an excessive workload for academics generated by a significant increase in student numbers. This has resulted in lecturers and teachers dropping out of academic careers and is putting scientific research in jeopardy, the group says.

The protests come after the the VSNU association of Dutch universities, the KNAW science academy and the Young Academy tried to convince politicians through discussions that academics needed change. Protesters said that these talks had so far not succeeded.

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