BY KAY MARS Intersectionality has become somewhat of a buzzword in contemporary social sciences. It provided a short-hand term for a more complex and comprehensive understanding on identity, which would take into account the ways…
In the Netherlands, the cutbacks to higher education have become a controversial issue. They are part of wider austerity measures taken by the Dutch government in the wake of the global financial crisis. In this context, education reform has become a focus of discussion inside and outside universities. This series, “Cuts to Education,” includes pieces from various vantage points in the education cutbacks debate.
By Donya Alinejad The student demonstration in The Hague last Friday was referred to as one of the largest in the country since 1988. In a historical first, approximately 1000 Professors – that’s one third of all the professors at Dutch universities – marched in full academic garb as a statement of solidarity with the protesting students. The reason: Opposition to the cabinet’s drastic education cutbacks. Since then, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced during a routine press conference that the plans for cut backs will simply continue. So what was the effect of the student demonstration?
By Ursula Cats When I started my fieldwork as a Master’s student last year, I had many ideals and I mainly wanted to represent the women I was researching as “agents of change”. What I actually experienced was different. As I wrote in an e-mail to my supervisor Ellen Bal towards the end of my fieldwork: “I can clearly see the restrictions these young women have. I can see that they are active agents, but their impossibilities are also becoming painfully obvious.”
I have always had the motivation to support people who have fewer opportunities than I do. To gain more knowledge on developmental work, I decided to enroll in the Master’s program in anthropology in September 2009. It was not complicated to find a focus for my fieldwork: the women who had fled from Burma to Thailand. The anthropological theories I used, however, did not correspond directly with what I actually saw and experienced. Eventually I was able to gain a perspective based on the stories of the women themselves, which I used in my thesis to shed light on the situation of unrecognized refugee women from Burma.
By Donya Alinejad This Friday, May 21st, at 13.00, a demonstration against the financial cut-backs on Dutch education will be held in Amsterdam. Demonstrators will start gathering at 13.00 on Damplein and will lead a procession march to Museumplein, where speeches, concerts, and rallies will commence from 14.00 onward. The aim is to fill the Museumplein in defense of higher education and against the planned 20% cutbacks, thus sending a clear political message to leaders in the Hague: no more cutbacks on education. The initiators of the protests are the student groups, LSVb, ISO, JOB, LKvV, and Comite SOS. They are sponsored by radio station Wild FM and have the support of other student and grassroots organizations.