Lower House wants university diplomas for soldiers

22nd November 2010, Comments 2 comments


A majority of the Lower House wants the Netherlands Defence Academy NLDA to issue recognised university diplomas.

The left wing liberal party, D66, made the suggestion to Defence Minister Hans Hillen in the hope that graduating soldiers will receive legitimate degrees in 2011. The Dutch Accreditation Organisation has already determined that the educational level of the NLDA is on par with that found in Dutch Universities.

With the dramatic cuts being made in the Dutch armed forces, it has become clear that thousands of military jobs will dissappear in the coming years. Consequently many MPs believe it imperative that soldiers be awarded a recognised university degree with which they can effectively compete in the labour market. Without that added incentive, fewer people will enrol in the Defense Academy. As D66 member Wassila Hachi said "It used to be that a career with the military would be for life, but that is not so anymore. It is now more important than ever to improve military training to improve access to labour market."



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

2 Comments To This Article

  • Matt posted:

    on 23rd November 2010, 18:21:09 - Reply

    It also makes a difference whether the degrees will be considered the equivalent to a "universiteit" or "hogeschool" degree. The two are legally the same, but there is a lot of snobbery and cultural discrimination by universiteit degreee holders against hogeschool degree holders. There may even be some truth that the hogeschool are inferior quality educations (although I doubt that is the case in most situations), but theat shoudl not tkae away the fact they are legally equivalent. These soldiers will be entering a new minefiled - the Dutch academic minefield. Even if they get legal equivalence, there is no way Leiden or UvA will ever consdier them really the equivalent of their snobbish degrees! The lower house should consider this initiative in the context of the wider discrimination among degree that is growing into a real problem in the Netherlands.
  • HTD posted:

    on 23rd November 2010, 11:40:35 - Reply

    This proposal seems to make logical sense in providing an academic support for those entering Dutch military service.

    However, it would also be interesting to know what kind of university degrees will be extended. The U.S. Military Academies, like West Point, Annapolis, and the Air for Force academies usually provide bachelor's curriculum in one of the engineering fields such as Civil or Mechanical Engineering.
    What kind of degrees does the Lower House want to provide?