News - September 16, 2011

VVD and D66 satisfied with Zijlstra letter

Conservative VVD party MP Anne-Wil Lucas, advocate of a waiver of tuition fees for students doing fulltime committee work, is not giving up. Together with Boris van der Ham (D66), she is going to submit an amendment to exempt student board members from fees.

Lucas is 'positive' about the letter sent to parliament yesterday by State Secretary Zijlstra, in which he repeats that he does not support the plan. If it is up to him the law will not be changed.
'But we knew that of course', responds Lucas brightly. 'He says in his letter that if a number of conditions are met it would be possible. So we shall just carry on with it.' Centre-left D66 party MP Boris van der Ham also says he is 'happy' with the State Secretary's response.
The next time the law is change, he and Lucas will table an amendment which would still exempt student board members from the new fine on students extending their studies beyond a set maximum time. Lucas: 'That's what we have majority rule in the house for.'
The MPs will not, however, be fulfilling the wishes of student organizations ISO and LKvV that student board members be allowed to borrow from DUO. 'That can't be done, because in that year they are not officially students', explains Lucas. But according to Jeroen Thys of the National Chamber of Associations, the grant they get is not enough to live on. 'That loan really must be put in place.'