News - April 21, 2011

Postponing the fine is just a pacifier, say students

The government has postponed the introduction of punitive extra tuition fees for students on 'extra time'. But Wageningen students feel the plans are already affecting student life.

The news has therefore been received with mixed feelings at the Wageningen student union WSO. 'Of course it is nice that some students can now be better prepared for what is coming', says spokesperson Jouke Dijkstra. 'But it is also no more than a pacifier. Because the measure will still go ahead of course.' And that will have consequences for Wageningen too, thinks Dijkstra. 'Clubs are affected by it; student life is impoverished by it. And it puts the brakes on people's personal development.'
He does take some hope from the message sent by students, particularly on 21 January. After many years of lukewarm levels of activism, there were once again 20,000 students on the streets of The Hague. For now all that has been achieved is a postponement by one year, but Dijkstra sees it as a message to The Hague 'that you cannot economize on students anymore. They have had enough.'