Student - April 25, 2012

Debate on loan system postponed

The Dutch Lower House will today not debate on the removal of the basic student grant for Master's students. But it's still too early for students to heave a sigh of relief.

The proposed legislation 'studying is investing' - which includes a two-year cut in the privilege to public transport - was tabled for last Monday's agenda. The debate was then postponed to Wednesday as a result of the fall of the cabinet.
However, the members of parliament have other work to do today. The education committee of the Lower House will meet in the afternoon. Its members may then decide which bills are to be shelved till a new cabinet comes into office.
However, it is unclear if the proposed 'studying is investing' legislation will be brought up again only after the elections. The GreenLeft Party and the Socialist Party are in favour of doing that, but it still has to be seen whether the other parties will go along.
If the spokespersons should decide to tackle the proposed legislation and speed up the process, the bill could still be passed before the summer. In that case, caretaker state secretary Zijlstra will still get his way and Master's students will lose their basic study grant from 1 September. Students who have extended their study by more than a year will also lose their public transport privilege.

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