Dutch academia is in the international vanguard. This tremendous achievement is down to the efforts of our researchers day in, day out. However, the downside of our success is becoming increasingly evident. Unrelenting growth in terms of student numbers, attendant underfunding from the public purse and competition for research funding have given rise to considerable pressure on the academic community.
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and information and analytics business Elsevier have reached a framework agreement. NWO President Stan Gielen: “This agreement is in accordance with Plan S and is a huge step towards 100% open access and therefore a major breakthrough for open science in the Netherlands.” Overall it means that Dutch research institutions and Elsevier will embark on a new and innovative approach to scientific research, making it more transparent, collaborative, efficient, in support of social issues and questions. VSNU’s chief-negotiator Tim van der Hagen: “This is the beginning of a new way of working for science. We will be in the driving seat of what’s important for science in the future and the applicable rules of engagement and services needed in this context.”
The Dutch universities have an important social mission: to provide academic education for future generations, to conduct scientific and scholarly research and to develop and share scientific knowledge in close interaction with society. Successful fulfilment of this broad social mission requires good governance and oversight. In the new Dutch Universities Governance Code, the universities have defined the guiding principles in this regard. This new Code is one of the joint actions from the vision paper ‘Knowledge for our future’.