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News on Languages & Cultures domain

26 April 2023

The deans of the Faculties of Humanities and Arts in the Netherlands are pleased with the positive reaction from the Minister of Education, Culture and Science to the Humanities sector plan. In addition to extra attention for the themes of Human AI and Cultural Heritage and Identity, the sector plan also focuses on the Languages & Cultures domain.  

For the Languages & Cultures domain, in particular for the bachelor’s programmes in German and French and the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Dutch, the Minister’s positive reaction means that there is no question of programmes being discontinued, nor of plans for one national bachelor’s programme. Rather, the sector plan aims to strengthen languages and cultures and raise their profile more broadly. The intention is to develop a coordinated and nationally agreed programme in these languages that will include local priorities. Students will continue to be able to study the language & culture programmes at each participating university.

There is also no question of a cost-cutting operation. In the recent committee debate on research policy in the House of Representatives (on Tuesday 18 April 2023), Minister Dijkgraaf stressed this point once again. In doing so, the Minister recognises with us the importance of languages and cultures for society and the broad expertise we collectively hold in the Netherlands in this area. 

On the basis of the sector plan, the joint Faculty Boards in Humanities and Arts are committed to strengthening and promoting cooperation within the Languages & Cultures domain. The Faculty Boards are currently discussing how this will take further shape. A report on the approach and follow-up process will follow shortly. Ample opportunities will be built into the follow-up process for input from the programmes concerned. 

Mark Rutgers,
Dean Faculty of Humanities

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