In Universities of The Netherlands (UNL), Dutch universities work together towards a strong university sector. The 14 Dutch universities within Universities of The Netherlands show the outside world how they fulfil their social function, formulate shared ambitions relating to academic education and research and valorisation, and lobby for the preconditions needed to realise these ambitions.
The role of the VSNU
The societal task of research universities is to provide high-quality academic education and to conduct high-quality scientific research in order to build a strong knowledge society. Important scientific questions for society are studied and resolved if possible. Knowledge is created in order to encourage innovation. This is how research universities contribute to a strong society, whereby the Netherlands achieves and maintains a prominent international position.
By joining forces through VSNU, research universities show to the outside world how they fulfill their societal task, they formulate common goals for education and research, and they lobby for the conditions that are necessary to achieve these goals.
The VSNU office supports these goals by unlocking figures and data about the university sector, by providing a platform for knowledge exchange, by informing universities about the political realities in The Hague, by lobbying towards national politics and by fulfilling the role of employer. The lobby for conditions, such as less rules and more funding, is more successful when universities make their ambitions and successes visible and when they are accountable for what their choices and actions.