Since the HOAK paper from 1986, higher education has taken a new direction. The HOAK paper proposed a principally different line of policy between government and higher education institutions than was the case previously: the government would remain more in the background, and the institutions would monitor their own quality and report on this publicly.

The report of the European University_Association (EUA) recognises the importance of autonomy at universities. Autonomy means that universities can respond to social needs. It is also very important for the European research area. Where innovation is concerned, universities should also be released from over-regulation and micro-management in return for responsibility. Progress in the autonomy of universities is essential in terms of achieving the ambitions of the Innovation Union (EU initiative).


Dutch universities have the following score for autonomy:

  • Organisational autonomy (score: 76%)
  • Financial autonomy (score: 78%)
  • Staff autonomy (score: 72%)
  • Academic autonomy (score: 57%)