Organisation - October 11, 2012

Students contest loan system

Science degrees will be too expensive. 'Make it a grant for the fifth year.'

The Wageningen student council and the councils of three other science and technical universities have sounded the alarm with 'informateurs' Henk Kamp and Wouter Bos. The students of Wageningen University, Delft University of Technology, the University of Twente and Eindhoven University of Technology are afraid that scrapping the basic student grant will adversely affect the popularity of technical studies.
'We were extremely glad that the slow student fine is off the cards,' says student council member Wouter Jan van Roosmalen. 'But now the cabinet is going for a social loan system. We are afraid that the specialized universities will be adversely affected.'
Technical degree programmes are heavier and a Master's takes two years. Wouter Jan: 'As a result, science students take longer than others, making these degrees more costly. If the basic grant is scrapped, technical studies will become unattractive while there is in fact more need for MSc holders. This can also be seen in the technical character of the top sectors.'
If the loan system is introduced anyway, the students propose turning it into a grant for the fifth year of technical studies. 'Then these students do not have to pay more than other students, and there are no repercussions for other students. This measure would only cost 24 million euros a year.'
In the letter, the students implore the informateurs to make sure that they are not the last cohort of science students. 'Let future MSc holders contribute to innovation in the Netherlands too.'

Re:act