‘University’ becomes a protected title
A university is not always a university. In The Netherlands, institutions can carry the name university without problems, and that can lead to confusion and problems sometimes. The minister of Education is going to tackle the problem with a new law.The draft law is placed on the government’s website, so that people can react to it. The goal is to fight the misleading of students and employers, and to guarantee the quality of higher education. Institutions that break the rules can face penalty’s. The fine can be up to 810.000 euros.
There are exceptions. If no degree is promised, and people do not have to pay for classes, institutions get away with the use of the term ‘university’. This means the ‘Kleuteruniversiteit’ (toddler university) and the ‘Universiteit van Nederland’ (website that shows classes by professors) can keep the name. TIAS School for Business and Society, related to Tilburg University, can also keep its name.
The Dutch University College in Wilp and the ‘Hogeschool Geesteswetenschappen’ (university of applied science humanities) do have to think of a different way to call themselves. This also goes for Alhuura Universiteit, that pretended to be a real university. In 2013, this ‘university’ was fined for fraud and forgery. Over a hundred people got a bachelors, masters or doctors degree, even though the institution was not qualified to give them. This law suit was an exception, because for a long time, institutions got away with using this name. This will be ended by the law.