Democratisation and Pulverisation: 1965-1984
In the 1960s and 1970s, the number of students continued to grow. The numbers of professors, academic staff and support staff increased accordingly, as did libraries, laboratories, lecture halls and other facilities. The university, scattered across the city, was bursting at the seams. This massification contributed to the emergence of a leftist student movement, which raised union demands and formulated alternative ideas about teaching, research and the university's governance structure. To reinforce their democratisation demands, students occupied university buildings in 1969. With the introduction of a University Council, faculty councils and departments in 1971, students gained co-determination. The occupation tool was often used afterwards, for example, to force the appointment of Marxist teachers, until from 1974, the umpteenth occupation became almost meaningless folklore. While Nijmegen had become a centre of leftist counterculture. Political polarisation, massiveness, and academic differentiation were crippling the university's sense of unity; enforced government cutbacks did the rest. Departments and fields of study disappeared, reorganisations saw layoffs, and austerity took place. Catholicism, previously a multicoloured umbrella under which everyone found a place, no longer counted as a unifying factor for the population of the crushed academy.