The road to excellent ruin

Dutch universities, past, present and future

Rudolf Dekker

‘A must read’ – Ewald Engelen (University of Amsterdam)

‘Whoever wants to know what has gone wrong with Dutch universities should read this book’ – Dirk de Hoog (Ad Valvas, VU-University)

‘I would recommend this book to every administrator’ – Hans Renders (VPRO Radio)

Dutch universities are striving towards excellence while their administrators dream of a top-ranking on international listings. Dutch scholars and scientists, on the other hand, foresee that the growing bureaucracy, commercialization and excessive workloads are leading to an abyss. Are we to believe that today’s universities in Holland are comparable to a cookie factory? Are students like shipping containers that should be processed as quickly as possible, as university presidents have declared? In this book Rudolf Dekker links the multifarious problems discussed in the press, varying from cheating academics to incompetent administrators, with more fundamental processes: changes in the way universities are structured, managed and financed, the influence of neo-liberal ideas, the effects of digitization and the development of a new administrative elite in the Netherlands.


  1. Introduction
  2. Debates
  3. Fraudulent research
  4. NWO
  5. Disciplinary jurisdiction
  6. Educational fraud
  7. Inspection
  8. Administrators
  9. Real estate
  10. KNAW
  11. Status
  12. Students
  13. Study loans
  14. AIO’s
  15. Commercialization
  16. Branding
  17. Privatization
  18. Bureaucracy
  19. Centralization
  20. Internationalization
  21. Digitization
  22. Litigation
  23. Libraries
  24. Criticisms
  25. The future

    ISBN/EAN: 978-90-820779-6-4
    Price: € 19,50 (shipping included)

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