Education minister to get tough on fake universities
Education minister Jet Bussemaker is to introduce fines of up to EUR 810,000 for educational institutes which wrongly call themselves universities or hbo colleges (hogeschool).
‘These sort of organisations abuse the good name of the Dutch higher educational system,’ she said. ‘They charge students money for a diploma which is worthless and that must no longer go unpunished.’ According to the Volkskrant, this means the private Hogeschool Geesteswetenschappen in Utrecht will have to change its name, as will the Alhuraa University in The Hague and Dutch University College in Wilp.
‘University’ and ‘University of Applied Science’ – used by hbo colleges in English – will also be protected names in Dutch law. The new law will also ensure that only officially recognised universities and colleges can award bachelor and master’s degrees, Bussemaker said.
However, some institutions, such as the Volksuniversiteit, which offers cheap adult education classes and the Universiteit van Nederland, which provides free online lectures by top academics, can continue to use the title, Bussemaker said.