The Democratische Academie Groningen is a critical student movement which strives for the profound democratization of the University of Groningen. The DAG is of the opinion that the university ought to be a communal knowledge project, which produces critical citizens and which nurtures a healthy democracy. At the moment, however, the RUG’s policies and management are characterized by their return-oriented and business-like nature. A consequence of this approach is the degradation of our educational system, and a decrease of academic freedom, both limiting the larger social purpose the university should serve. In order to turn the boat around, the DAG is a strong proponent of increasing the influence of students and researchers on the RUG’s policies. It’s for this reason that a profound democratization and decentralization within the RUG are at the heart of the DAG’s agenda.

The founding of DAG

The idea of creating the Democratic Academy of Groningen sprouted on March 16th, 2017. A symposium organized by students from the Groningen faculty of philosophy took place the day prior, which criticized the the substantive narrowing of their own field of study. One of the symposium’s conclusions was that the problem was not limited to the philosophy faculty, but were in fact more fundamental -also afflicting other faculties.This has motivated a large group of students to take action.
Subsequently, students from all the faculties of the RUG who acknowledged the problems and were willing to fight for their ideals signed up for DAG. Many of DAG’s ideals have also been defended in other places and in different times, but in recent history there hasn’t been such a group of students of this size and unity in Groningen who have put their ideas into action. The problems that DAG wants to tackle are described in more detail in our vision document, which can be found on the ‘Ideals’ page.


The DAG’s core objective is to bring about a broad discussion among students. A fraction of the movement makes itself eligible for the annual elections for the University Council. The seats obtained are a useful tool to voice our concerns and to increase awareness about the issues identified by us, and to really critically assess policies and policy-makers within the RUG. It will help solidify efforts to make the University of Groningen a truly decentralized and democratized institution which benefits society as a whole.


Do you have a question about the DAG movement or do you want something published on our website? Reach out to us by sending an email to info@democratischeacademie.com or democratischeacademie@gmail.com. For more direct and specific questions the following people can be called or e-mailed.

DAG Chairman
mail: democratischeacademie@gmail.com

Teun Schoutens

DAG in the University Council
mail: democratischeacademie@gmail.com

Manuel Reyes