News - February 23, 2012

'Master's students need compensation for society work too'

Master's students seem to have been hit by a double whammy. Because they will not be eligible for the basic government grant hitherto awarded to all Dutch students, they will also lose the right to an allowance from the university during time out spent running student societies. This allowance is linked to the basic grant.

Student party VeSte is concerned about state secretary Zijlstra's new grant regulations and their possible unforeseen consequences for student life. Only students in receipt of a basic grant may apply for an allowance from the student support fund FOS, which provides a bigger allowance to students living out than to those still living at home. If Master's students can no longer get this allowance, this will be a blow not just to the students themselves but also to student society life.
Student organizations will find it harder to recruit board members, predicts VeSte board member Willemijn Sneller. ‘Master's students will certainly bear in mind the overall financial situation.'
Plan of action
But it may not come to this. According to the student council rector magnificus Martin Kropff shares the council's concern. Sneller: ‘Kropff has agreed with other universities to discuss a plan of action.' According to spokesman Simon Vink, the rector's aim is to have an FOS system in place in the new funding situation for Master's students who want to play an active role in student organizations. ‘Exactly what this will look like is still to be decided. The executive board will decide on the matter.'