The Christian Democrats (CDA) want to get rid of the slow students' fine after the election. Party leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma surprised his audience of Utrecht students yesterday with this message.
Buma did not mention any specific alternatives but he is not in favour of a social loan system. Various parties would like to replace the basic grant with such a social loan system after abolishing the slow student fine.
In the 2010 election campaign, too, the CDA tried to make its mark with bold promises in an attempt to win the student vote. Then it was a guarantee that the basic grant would be maintained.
The slow student fine will take effect on 1 September after being delayed for a year. The measure involves students having to pay an extra 3,000 euros a year on top of their tuition fees if they exceed the nominal number of years for their course by more than twelve months. This applies to individual Master's and Bachelor's degrees. There are some exceptions, such as students suffering from sickness.
We will be publishing more details soon on what the election programmes have to say about students and higher education. Until then we would like to hear your opinions.