Chinese studenten niet geweerd

Dutch Parliament wants tighter controls on knowledge security

There’s a growing fear in The Hague that malicious foreign powers might be misusing Dutch scientific knowledge. Most concerns revolve around China, especially after indirect ties between the Delft University of Technology and the Chinese military came to light and the activities of a Chinese-funded human rights centre at VU Amsterdam were put into question.

In February, the Minister of Education, Robbert Dijkgraaf, ordered the supervisory boards of higher education institutions to check whether binding agreements about knowledge security were actually being complied with. Then, in June, he tightened the reins a bit: compliance was to be externally monitored and national guidelines would be introduced for the assessment of foreign scientists seeking to enter ‘high-risk’ fields, related to nuclear technology, for example.

More critical
MP Hatte van der Woude (VVD) fears that not all education administrators were sufficiently aware of the importance of knowledge security. Two weeks ago, together with MP Harry van der Molen (CDA), she asked Minister Dijkgraaf to have institutions conduct more critical analyses and have these properly audited by external parties. The motion was passed almost unanimously on Tuesday afternoon.

Another motion, submitted by far-right party Forum for Democracy to ban Chinese students and researchers from all "sensitive" knowledge domains, did not make it out of the House. Only PVV, SGP, Fractie Den Haan and BBB voted in favour.

Tags: china | spionage