Science - March 4, 2004

Dutch students are borrowing more

The trend of increased student borrowing continued in 2003. According to the Informatie Beheer Groep, over 5.3 million euros was paid out in student loans. In 2002 the amount was less than five million.

The number of students entitled to a loan increased as the number that had run up debts studying increased to five hundred thousand. The average debt in 2003 was 5100 euros, up from about 4000 euros at the end of the 1990s.

Dutch students do not receive much financial support from the government: a student living away from home gets a base grant of 221 euros per month, and depending on how much the parents earn, an additional grant of up to 227 euros. The amount required to study according to the ministry of education is 693 euros, leaving a gap of 245 euros. This has to be filled up with a loan.

The debt as a result of studying is likely to become even higher in the near future. Secretary of State for Education, Annette Nijs, indicated last year that the loan facilities for students would have to be extended, in order to prevent students having to get jobs at the cost of being able to devote time to their studies. At present the total student loan debt to the state stands at more than three billion euros.

For more information on grants see: www.ib-groep.nl

Re:act