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Amsterdam rethinks plan to cut humanities

A plan to restructure the humanities faculty at the University of Amsterdam has been dropped after a five-month dispute between the institution and its students and academics.

The Profile 2016 restructuring plan, a package of cuts for the humanities faculty, was proposed in November to remove the least popular degrees from the syllabus. But on 13 April, Frank van Vree, the dean of the faculty, confirmed that the reform had been discarded and that the university would instead create nine working groups of academics to find an alternative way forward.

The university’s original plan was similar to attempts by other cash-strapped institutions across Europe to reduce budget deficits by cutting from the humanities and social sciences. Opposition from academics and students at the university led to the occupation of the Maagdenhuis management building, and ignited a country-wide debate on university governance and the role of the humanities.

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