Upon request from Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, the VRWB studied the above-mentioned report of the government commissioners. The opinion builds on the conclusions of the same, but advances a couple of matters which merit attention on priority.
The VRWB agrees that the research policy plans should be considered more extensively than just the BOF resources. The ambiguous formulation of art. 7 from the BOF decision, which forms the basis of the same, should be changed. Also the universities should strive for a common strategic document that outlines the global vision for the years to come, besides the individual plans. The Council does consider that the impression has incorrectly been created that universities are afraid to make strategic choices. On the other hand, the commitment implies that the institutions conclude sufficient budgetary guarantees in the longer term in these plans.
The Council also supports the plea for a better and flexible growth of an academic career. Chronic under-staffing remains one fundamental obstacle. A substantial growth path for fixed staff is involved In this regard, one should not focus only on the working resources, but consideration should also be given in alternative, creative manners. A correction of limited global support for Flemish universities is also desirable, for which different pathways are possible.