Executive boards VU and UvA: no joint housing for science faculties

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam will not proceed with the plans to combine the housing of Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Earth, Ecology and Environment. The Executive boards have reached this conclusion after consulting with the central and faculty representative councils. Both universities will continue to work towards joined research and excellent education, as well as bringing SRON, the institute for space research, to Amsterdam.

04/21/2017 | 2:51 PM

In the past years several science departments from both VU Amsterdam and UvA have worked hard to make a collaboration between the different institutions possible. This resulted in the start of six joint degrees. Especially the computer scientists and the physicists and astrologists have established research and education collaboration. A preliminary decision concerning the collaboration was made in February and presented to the participation councils.

‘The central participation council did not approve the proposed investment, thus we cannot continue in the current form’, says Geert ten Dam, chairman of the Executive board of the UvA. Both Executive boards have consistently maintained that widespread support was crucial, both from the research and education perspectives. Ten Dam: ‘Together with the faculties we have tried to reassure the employees and students as best as possible. Unfortunately, this has not resulted in a positive outcome. In the interest of inspiring and future-oriented education and research, we will look into how the desired collaboration between the research fields can be brought about.’

Jaap Winter, chairman of the Executive board of VU Amsterdam: ‘It is disappointing that the carefully prepared plan will not proceed, especially for the scientists and students. Many at VU Amsterdam have worked hard to successfully create public support for the proposed plans. It is frustrating that we cannot now carry out those plans. However this does not mean that current collaboration in research and education will end.’ UvA and VU Amsterdam will continue to work towards joined research and excellent education in Amsterdam, because only by combining our forces and knowledge will both universities be able to improve their international position. Jaap Winter: ‘We owe many thanks to the people at both institutions who have in the past year consistently looked for variations and solutions to make this possible. That both Executive boards now have to make this decision is difficult but unavoidable.’

Both institutions will continue their conversations with SRON, the institute for space research, which would also move to the Amsterdam Science Park. The value of joined research with SRON remains great for both VU Amsterdam and UvA. The goal continues to be to bring SRON to Amsterdam and bring together the different fields of knowledge of VU Amsterdam, UvA and SRON.