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In the context of the upcoming regional and federal elections in Belgium in 2024, Flemish universities presented their commitments and expectations in their Election Memorandum issued by the Flemish Inter-University Council (VLIR) earlier this month.
A key demand is the call for the “restoration of the social contract between the government and the universities”. The Memorandum emphasises that this can only happen if the government meets its statutory obligations to ensure universities are adequately funded and thus able to fulfil their missions in education, research, and community service.
Therefore, in their Election Memorandum the Flemish universities call on future policymakers to restore the basic funding for universities to enable them to maintain and contribute to the well-being and prosperity of Flanders as a knowledge region, and address societal challenges, including the green and digital transitions.
The Memorandum summarizes the funding cuts made by the government over the past years. These include, for example, the under-indexation of all components within basic financing (operating, investment, and social grants) and the skipping of the so-called “clicking system” by which the evolution of funding follows the evolution in the number of students (under certain conditions).
The Memorandum sets out 18 requests to the next Flemish government for the phase 2024-2029. These include, amongst them, the following:
The full Election memorandum can be read here (in Dutch)