Inwoners Utrecht en Noord-Holland hoogst opgeleid

In Utrecht en Noord-Holland wonen naar verhouding de meeste hoogopgeleiden: respectievelijk 41,2 procent en 37,4 procent heeft er een hbo- of universitair diploma.

In het Jaarboek onderwijs in cijfers 2011 vergelijkt het Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek het opleidingsniveau van 25 tot 65-jarigen. Zeeland (23,5 procent) en Drenthe (24,1 procent) hebben relatief weinig hoogopgeleiden. Dat heeft volgens het CBS vooral te maken met het lage onderwijs- en arbeidsmarktaanbod in die gebieden.


Maar het onderwijsaanbod biedt “geen volledige verklaring” voor het aandeel hoogopgeleiden in een gebied. In de regio Zuid-Limburg, waar de Universiteit Maastricht staat, is hun aandeel (26,6 procent) lager dan in Midden-Limburg (28,8 procent). In Midden-Noord Brabant, met de Universiteit van Tilburg, is 26,5 procent van de bevolking hoogopgeleid; dat is lager dan in het stadsgewest Den Bosch (31,1 procent).


In het CBS-rapport staat verder dat het aantal studenten in het hoger onderwijs opnieuw is gestegen. Vorig collegejaar volgden zo’n 242 duizend studenten een universitaire opleiding en ongeveer 417 duizend een hbo-opleiding. Ruim tweeduizend studenten doen een hbo- en een wo-opleiding tegelijkertijd, wat het totaal aantal studenten op 656 duizend brengt.


Ruim één op de zeven hbo-studenten is van niet-westerse allochtone komaf. In het wo gaat het om ruim één op de acht studenten. Er studeren nog steeds meer vrouwen dan mannen: 52 om 48 procent.



Most of us know that the TU is facing serious budget cuts in the near future, but hard as these cuts may be, they’re made even harder by focusing on the wrong priorities, by an opaque process, and by a lack of student input. A good way to discuss all three of these problems is by using the Delft Center for Entrepreneurship (DCE) as a specific example. Having taken DCE’s sustainable business game and design challenge courses, I found the courses excellent and the faculty highly motivated. Unfortunately, DCE also just had five of its seven staff members cut and its facilities scaled back. DCE’s future is uncertain. So let’s examine what’s wrong with this budgetary cutting process.

First, priorities: the impression I get from talking to faculty members around the university is that Deans place a priority on research. This means they preserve the programmes that crank out papers, while cutting the programs that don’t. Research is undoubtedly important, but a technological university should also be focusing on implementing research, especially at a university like TU Delft, where most students want to go out and do things, like building bridges, rather than merely writing about how to build bridges. In fact, firms and governments want students to be able to do things as well, but student, business and governmental priorities are not a Dean’s priorities. We see this in DCE, where despite receiving rave reviews from students and running minor programmes that are full within 30 minutes of enrolment starting, DCE gets cut. And this is despite being one of the only places on campus where the government specifically subsidises the programme and companies pay the university to allow students to mix with other disciplines in order to develop real solutions to real business problems.

Second, the process is opaque: there doesn’t seem to be any discussion about what areas are best to cut – not within the faculty and not with students. There isn’t even a nod to equity that all departments should be cut equally. But discussion is essential: in my programme we would call this
stakeholder analysis, and it’s vitally important if you don’t want to (a) come off like a condescending, power-hungry jerk when making decisions, or (b) make simple mistakes that wind up being bad choices, just because you failed to ask for another viewpoint. DCE is a part of the TPM faculty, and that’s how the process has played out there as well.

Last, student involvement: there doesn’t seem to be any attempt to measure student input when considering what to cut. As I’ve said, DCE’s programmes get excellent student reviews, but that hasn’t stopped a 70% personnel cut. The TU administration might also bother to ask students what they think, if for no other reason than to legitimise the process. Or they could even go so far as to value student input and treat the matter as a dialogue – this would yield better results than excluding students from the process.
In short, it’s disappointing to see the administration get their priorities mixed up, making hard times even worse. By protecting the favourite projects of a powerful minority on campus, the rest of us are left out in the cold.

Devin Malone, a second-year MSc student of industrial ecology, is from Anchorage, Alaska.

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