Amsterdam, 4 March 2015

Humanities PhDs add their voice to UvA-wide protests

The Humanities PhD Community at the University of Amsterdam in its meeting yesterday has decided to add its own voice in support of the UvA-wide protests organized by students, staff and joint initiatives.

The PhD community makes up a considerable part of the UvA staff. Yet our possibility for intellectual innovation, fostered by appropriately funded independent research projects and a stimulating working environment, has been particularly threatened by recent top-down proposals and initiatives that undermine our rights and position as PhD Candidates.

Therefore, we stand in solidarity with our colleagues and share their concerns about the creeping short-term and profit-oriented financing and management of higher education. Next to our support of the demands issued by the Nieuwe Universiteit and Rethink UvA, we want to add that:

  • There is a strong need for more basic (‘1e geldstroom’) funding for PhD positions.

We strongly oppose the abolition of basic (‘1e-geldstroom’) funding for PhD positions, and the downgrading of PhD candidates’ status from employees to students. We demand an open call for funded PhD positions. This is crucial for innovative young researchers to develop curiosity-driven projects and secure the existence of future generations of independent academic researchers.

There is a strong need to protect the rights of external PhD Candidates.

We call for the improvement of the position and rights of external PhD’s, including their working spaces and teaching opportunities.
To explore these issues more in-depth and to offer our active support to Rethink UvA, we will organize a working group as of today. This working group will focus on PhD-related affairs, as we are aiming to establish our goals in collaboration with the broader movement. We welcome and urge all PhD Candidates to take part in this discussion.

On behalf of (a large majority of) the PhD Community