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In 2020, the UvA will have more money to spend. The University’s income is expected to be 4% higher than in the 2019 budget, giving greater scope for both short-term and long-term investments in teaching and research. These predictions are based on the 2020 draft budget, which was adopted by the Executive Board on 1 October.

The increased income derives partly from the allocation of sector plan funds for Science and Technology as well as for Social Sciences and the Humanities. Sector plan funds were included in the 2017 coalition agreement with the aim of strengthening the research base by investing in an expansion of research capacity as well as in the attraction and retention of research talent. The sector plans are also designed to encourage greater strategic collaboration between institutions.

Factored into the income figures is the expectation that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will roll out compensation for wage and price increases in 2020. Faculties are also expecting an increase in revenue from contract research due to the growth in the number of contracts awarded to UvA researchers. Revenue from contract teaching will increase as well.

Less positive are the consequences of the structural lack of funding in higher education. The UvA has already factored the effect of government efficiency cuts into the Framework Letter and previous budgets. Combined with the increased workload, this level of funding is putting the high quality of teaching and research at risk.

Investing in teaching and research

Growing revenue makes it possible to increase budgets and prices (per academic credit and degree certificate, for example) in the allocation model. Prices and budgets have been increased by 2% in the UvA budget. This increase should enable faculties to cover most of their wage and price increases at the very least. In addition, space has been created to use the sector plan funds for Science and Technology in an interdisciplinary manner within the UvA. It is expected that there will be also be scope to give an extra boost to sustainability and diversity objectives.

As in the 2019 budget, significant allowance has been made in this budget for a pre-investment in ICT. Universities will need to commit to major extra investments in ICT over the next few years in order to maintain their leading position on the global stage in this age of digitalisation.

According to the draft budget, the UvA also expects that revenue will continue to increase, although not to the same extent as the change expected for 2020. This growth gives us confidence that the innovations now being implemented can also be sustained.

In addition to the UvA budget and the draft budget for the units, the draft budget also includes other information, including the updated Accommodations Plan and the outlines of the ICT Project Portfolio. Consequently, it provides insight into how all of the plans and ambitions fit into the financial frameworks described in the 2020 Framework Letter.

Consent of representative advisory bodies

In addition, the 2020 draft budget will be used once again to seek consent on the main points in the budget by submitting them to the Joint Meeting.

The Executive Board warmly invites staff and students to provide feedback on the 2020 draft budget (see message below). Questions and comments are welcome; they can be submitted by email to

Questions and comments will be forwarded to the Central Works Council and the Central Student Council. Once the feedback period is over, the feedback will be compiled, commented on and submitted to the representative advisory bodies.

The feedback period will run until 22 October 2019, while the consent period and the consultation period for the central representative advisory bodies will run until 25 November 2019.

Next steps

Once consent on the main points in the budget is obtained from the central representative advisory bodies, the 2020 budget will be adopted in December of this year. If all goes according to plan, the Supervisory Board will approve the budget at its meeting on 20 December 2019. The finalised budget will be published on the UvA’s website.