Student - November 27, 2008


Students in the European Union who stay in another EU country for longer than five years can now apply for local student grants, the European Court decided yesterday. This rule already applied in the Netherlands.

At first sight, this doesn’t seem particularly relevant to Dutch students, who have been able to use their grants in other EU countries since 2007. But those who have lived abroad for five years seldom qualify under that regulation. As a spokesperson from the IB group said, ‘anyone wanting to take their grant abroad has to have been resident in the Netherlands for at least half of the previous six years.’
The only exceptions to this rule are the children of diplomats and residents of border areas, who can choose, with the proviso that, ‘It is against the rules to get a grant both in the Netherlands and in the country of residence.’
The European Court’s judgement was a response to a court case brought against the IB group in 2000 by the German student Jacqueline Förster, who had lived in the Netherlands for three years but had no right to a grant. Förster felt that she was discriminated against. Eight years later, the European Court has concluded that it doesn’t agree with her.