News - August 23, 2012

Slow student fine stays

The slow student fine is here to stay. It will not be possible to revoke the regulation before 1 September, suggests the start of the debate with state secretary Zijlstra in the Dutch Lower House.

'A big shame for politics,' said MP Tanja Jadnanansing (PvdA). According to her, an agreement has not been reached on the collateral required for abolishing the fine. But she still intends to submit an initiative law together with the GreenLeft Party.
To which Carola Schouten (Christian Union) immediately criticized by asking where the PvdA would get the money from. Apparently, the PvdA would get a part of it from another area in education. There would also be no compensation for inflation. Schouten viewed that as a 'strange collateral'.
Harm Beertema of the PVV pointed out that university students with a four-year programme should be allowed to extend this by two years. Two years for sports, committee work and other activities. 'It is not a great measure, but it's the price we have to pay to make education accessible.' Moreover, it is a measure which works, he argued. His own nephew, for example, graduated after nine years.
He also denounced a loan system, named by other parties as a source of funds. The slow student regulation is not intended for 'rattling money out of students', but for enabling them to graduate faster, he said.