Revoke the rise of non-EU tuition fees at ArtEZ

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Petition to Marjolijn Brussaard, Maarten Bremer and Nishant Shah, members of the ArtEZ Executive Board and Pierre Ballings, dr. Adriana Esmeijer, drs. Wilma de Koning, prof. dr. Pauline Louise Meurs and Renzo Martens, members of the ArtEZ Board of Governors:

This petition concerns your decision to raise tuition fees for ArtEZ non-EU students. We call on you to revoke your decision and stop the rise in fees.

This decision was voted unanimously by the above members of the Executive Board and supported by the Board of Governors. We, the undersigned, hereby express our fundamental opposition and our commitment to protest and prevent the implementation of this regressive and exclusionary decision.

The rise in tuition fees for non-EU students on the level of both Bachelor and Master programmes was by no means an obligatory measure. The Board has consistently given the excuse that their hands are tied and that the decision is legally enforced by the state. Various other schools in the Netherlands have abstained from implementing such a decision.

The decision to raise the fees for non-EU students by over 40% for masters students and almost 30% for bachelor students is in direct contradiction with the University’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021 and Quality Policy which states that diversity is a must for ArtEZ and calls for “more differences in background, environment and culture.” This is hypocritical and self-contradictory.

The raising of non-EU fees erects an economic barrier that will further exclude non-EU students from low economic countries and working class backgrounds. It weakens the programme by admitting students based on their ability to pay instead of their talent and potential. Who will then be able to afford ArtEZ study programmes?

This relates to a wider discussion around the diversity of the national and EU student body. There are already existing conditions that impact the diversity of the student body and this decision further deepens this exclusion.

The current crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic not only makes this issue more urgent than ever, given the reinstatement of European national borders and the global restrictions on mobility, but also, in light of the dramatic and world changing conditions we see ourselves in, an opening has arisen for a change of heart. Now is a time for international solidarity and cooperation.

The reputation of ArtEZ, its value, is accumulated through the success of its students, alumni and faculty. We create the cultural value of the institution and it is this self-perceived value that has led you to believe you can charge higher fees to future non-EU students. We say no.

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with all non-EU students of ArtEZ, present, future and most importantly prospective, for those students who will now be unable to attend their studies and for those who will be discouraged from even applying due to this aggressively exclusionary decision.

We, the undersigned, are committed to protest action if this decision is not repealed.

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