Nieuws - 8 maart 2012

Compensation for fine for Social Sciences Master's

Executive Board will pay the fine for one year max.

Dutch students on a two-year Wageningen Master's programme in the social sciences can complete the programme without incurring the ‘Halbe fine'. The executive board has decided to compensate these students for a maximum of one year for the additional tuition fees they have to pay, more than 3,000 euros. This arrangement supercedes an earlier, temporary measure and is in line with the advice of a commission which published its findings on the future of the social science Master's earlier this year.
The Wageningen social sciences Master's programmes were at risk from the newly introduced fine for slow students. Because the ministry only offers funding for one year on a Master's programme, the second year is seen as an extension. Students who go beyond those two years - the majority - will immediately face the fine. Not fair, says rector Martin Kropff, who wants to give social sciences students the same treatment as science students on a two-year Master's programme. ‘The social sciences Master's programmes are accredited as two-year programmes, so those students should also have some leeway to take a bit longer.' Kropff shares the view of the Mol commission, that the Wageningen Master's programmes should distinguish themselves by their quality, so that students go on opting for the two-year social science programme.
Compensation will be available to students on the International Development Studies; Applied Communication Science; Management, Economics and Consumer Studies; and Development and Rural Innovation programmes. This involves 100 to 120 students per year. The compensation is subject to the proviso that they finish the course. It is estimated that it will cost the university 200,000 to 250,000 euros per year.