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The Review Committee for Higher Education and Research has issued a positive assessment for the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) plans in the areas of teaching, research and valorisation.

The Review Committee, headed by Frans van Vught, a Dutch expert in higher education policy, assessed the performance agreements submitted by all the Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences, and will be issuing a recommendation to State Secretary Halbe Zijlstra of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

In the assessment, the Committee in particular praised the University’s plans in the areas of teaching (academic success rate, improvement of lecturer quality), research (reallocation of the budget towards successful research groups) and valorisation (the extensive network of partners and the direct application of knowledge from the natural sciences and medical research).

The proposed collaboration between the UvA and VU University Amsterdam was not included in the assessment, as it did not fall within the scope of the assessment framework. 'That’s certainly regrettable,' explained Louise Gunning, president of the UvA Executive Board. 'That type of cooperation, such as the merger of the science faculties, is a perfect example of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science’s plans to attract more international talent and strengthen teaching and research. It also fits right in with the "top sectors" policy and efforts to strengthen ties between Amsterdam’s universities and the business sector.’

Gunning: 'I’m certain we would have achieved a better score on that count if they'd factored in the collaboration between the UvA and VU University Amsterdam.'

All institutions included in the review will be meeting with the Ministry during the coming period to discuss their performance agreements. Based on these discussions and the recommendations issued by the Review Committee, the government will make decisions concerning the allocation of a small portion of the education budget by 1 November at the latest.