IMPORTANT UPDATE on the student led protest by students of Artez against the raise of the tuition fees for non-EU students ( from € 7500,00 in 2019 to € 10.700,00 in 2020). The Executive Board of ArtEZ has invited the initiators to a meeting on possible solutions. We are pleased to share their public response here, together with the initial Open Letter of the students.

Dear Members of the ArtEZ Community;
Dear Students, faculty, colleagues.

Thank you for this impassioned and critical letter that brings focused attention to the values of critical diversity and solidarity for the well-being of our community, especially those who are lesser served and represented. Your care resonates with the larger culture of ‘duty of care’ that ArtEZ aspires for. We see this letter as an opportunity to have a critical and constructive conversation where we get to introspect our collective values and revisit and reframe our next steps in a close conversation with you. Especially in these uncertain times, we appreciate that you appear as such strong interlocutors in a conversation that does not have easy solutions and quick resolutions. We invite you to a personal meeting to understand, evaluate, and make concrete plans to defend and nurture the values that you champion in this letter. We look forward to a collective next step and working together to create better contexts for diversity, inclusion, solidarity, and care, for all our communities, present and future.

Yours Sincerely,
Marjolijn Brussaard
Maarten Bremer

Note: the student initiators of the protest have received a longer, more elaborate letter. 


DAI crew and DAI faculty stand in solidarity with the students of ArtEZ.
Read the OPEN LETTER here:   

The below letter was written March 2020 but its publication has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The current crisis 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.

6 May 2020

Open letter 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 is a letter concerning your recent decision to raise tuition fees for ArtEZ non-EU students. This decision was voted unanimously by the above members of the Executive Board and supported by the Board of Governors. We, the undersigned students of ArtEZ, 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. Given that various other schools in the Netherlands have abstained from implementing such a decision, we demand a second opinion on the legal imperative of your decision.

The decision was that of the board and so the responsibility to answer for it lands at your feet. We are aware that you have been asked for an explanation and have yet to offer one. We write to hold you accountable for your decision and ask:

How do you justify the specific implications of this decision that stand in stark contrast to the proclaimed values of “diversity” and “openness” of the University?

As a regressive and exclusionary decision, can you defend the consequences to the University’s reputation and relevance?

How does this decision affect the study experience of all students at ArtEZ?

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 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.