Nieuws - 16 december 2010

Extra year gained but protests go on against 'Halbe tax'

The much-criticized new rules to discourage students from taking too long about their studies have been adjusted. But student organizations have still announced fresh demonstrations on 21 January.

As reported on this website on Monday (Extra year ), students will now be allowed to spend an extra year on their Bachelor's degree and one on their Master's. That gives most students five years to complete both degrees, and those with particular disabilities or special cases will have additional dispensations.

Halbe tax
The cabinet sees this as a 'gesture' but students have no intention of giving up their battle against its plans. Students will not be free to use their 'extra time' as they see fit, stresses Guy Hendricks of the Intercity student council (ISO). Students have a nickname for the higher fees to be charged to students who exceed their year's grace: the 'Halbe tax', after the secretary of state for education Halbe Zijlstra.
The ISO, the national union of students (LSVb) and the LKvV, a national umbrella organization for associations, are planning a national demonstration for 21 January, Zijlstra's birthday. The organizations are calling for a lecture-free day so that students can go to The Hague.