Universiteit Leiden

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Minister awards funding for Humanities sector plan

12 April 2023

The message below was created in consultation with the discipline consultation Arts&Humanities (DLG)

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science has decided to approve the second part of the university sector plans, following favourable advice from the National Sector Plans Committee. The approval entails a structural investment of 70 million euro per year for the SSH (Social Sciences and Humanities) domain, of which 24 million euro is reserved for the Humanities specifically. The discipline consultations Arts & Humanities (DLG), Theology (DGO) and Philosophy (DWB) are particularly pleased about this and look forward to jointly bringing about the Humanities sector plan.

The sector plans are a specific part of the administrative agreement on higher education and science. Through this administrative agreement, approximately one billion euro is invested in higher education and science every year, of which 200 million euro is reserved for sector plans. The sector plans for teaching and research are primarily aimed at making strategic and substantive choices, identifying national priorities, and tackling bottlenecks through national cooperation. 

Humanities sector plan

The Humanities Sector Plan 'Tradition in Transition' opts for a targeted investment in Languages & Cultures with the aim of making language and cultural expertise more widely available, thus creating a substantially larger potential of school teachers of Dutch, German and French. In addition, investments will be made in two interdisciplinary themes reflecting the connection between education, research and society: Human Artificial Intelligence and Cultural Heritage & Identity. Moreover, the Humanities will participate in the overarching SSH sector plan focusing on the theme 'Prosperity, Participation and Citizenship in a Digital World'.

With the sector plan funds, about 148 FTEs of assistant professors [in Dutch: universitair docenten; UD’s] in these prioritized areas will be realized in addition to investments in local research infrastructure and associated lab and data management support (approximately 22 FTEs). Thanks to the earlier allocation of the first part of these funds — 30% of the total — as well as a favorable opinion from the National Sector Plans Committee, preparations for the implementation of the sector plan have already been made across all universities in recent months, such as through the recruitment of new assistant professors. 


Now that the Minister has decided on the full allocation, we will proceed with the implementation of the sector plan — based on the framework, the overarching KPIs, and the individual faculty expenditure plans. To this end, we will first study the Minister's letter of approval and then present the governance structure for implementation by 28 April. This structure should ensure input from staff as well as from external partners in the further process and cooperation between stakeholders.

In the coming period, we would like to engage in further discussions with staff members to explain the process and jointly give further substance to the sector plan. We will keep you informed of the overall progress through periodic updates. 

To conclude

We would like to reiterate our joy about the allocation of the sectoral plan funds and thank everyone who has been involved in drawing up the sector plan. We look forward to realizing the sector plan together with you in the coming years!  

Mark Rutgers
Dean Faculty of Humanities

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