Free higher education

(Folia) Student activists think it’s about time the Dutch government makes higher education free for all. By abolishing tuition fees, the government would fulfil a promise it made fifty years ago, and follow the example of many European states.


Cold landings in the low lands

(Folia) Internationalisation! There is nothing the UvA likes to put on its brochures and policy plans as much as ‘curiosity without borders’ or ‘international classrooms’ – but how does our institution treat scholars from abroad, once lured in? Not too bad, it appears – as long as you pick up the language in a few months, and don’t expect too much warmth from colleagues. ‘Maybe the Dutch never get so close to each other themselves.’


Do we really want to be the world’s cyclist capital?

Photo: Daniël Rommens

Photo: Daniël Rommens

(Folia) This year, Amsterdam lost its first place to Copenhagen on the index of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. Is the city too reluctant to innovate? ‘We shouldn’t even want to be the world’s cyclist capital’.


The Hong Kong Revolution won't back down


(Folia) One year ago, the Hong Kong academic community sparked a huge protest movement for universal suff rage. Now that the Umbrella Revolution has been dissolved, scholars and students are facing a serious backlash. But a revolutionary fl ame still burns.


‘More than just a shot of caffeine’


Foto: Peet Sneekes, cc Flickr

Foto: Peet Sneekes, cc Flickr

(Folia) Nowadays, English is the lingua franca in Amsterdam’s coffee bars. It seems the city’s internationals have brought their coffee culture with them, one espresso bar at a time. But is this new breed of coffee place really imported from abroad?

If you ask any barista why so many people are speaking English, you’ll likely get the same answer: ‘The Dutch are beginning to appreciate coffee bars like this more and more. They encounter them while traveling in cities like Berlin and New York,’ Jeff, barista and owner of the newly opened coffee bar Toki tells me, whil filling the filter of a Kalita coffeemaker. ‘But even so, there’s a lot of internationals here. Americans for example. They’re definitely more used to having their coffee in these kind of bars then the Dutch.’


Foto: Daniël Rommens

Against Prejudice

(Folia) Prejudice is everywhere, even in the Netherlands. Slavery, Black Pete, higher unemployment rates for minorities; no subject is off limits in the Humanity in Action summer school in the Anne Frank House. ‘I already knew the Netherlands was racist.’


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