Nieuws - 19 april 2012

'Foreign students pay too much'

Through their tuition fees, international students are helping to fund the university's internationalization policy. Not fair, says the student council, which opposed the hike in tuition fees. To no avail.

That tuition fees for non-EU students have to go up is undisputed. These students currently pay 10,500 euros in tuition, well below the cost price, which is about 17,000 euros. The university covers the difference itself. To put an end to this, the executive board decided a few years ago to raise tuition fees in stages until they covered costs. In 2012-2013, overseas students in their first year at Wageningen will be paying 12,020 euros, a rise of 15 percent.
'We understand why the university is raising tuition fees. The funding for education has to come from somewhere', says student council member Sanne Mirck of VeSte. 'But research has shown that the university is recouping the costs of housing, recruitment and the International Office through international students' fees too.'
'Students already pay rent'
The student council's main objection is to the inclusion of housing costs in the tuition fees. According to Mirck, students shouldn't have to pay towards the temporary housing such as that provided in Hoenderloo, in the Brink Residence and in containers on the Haarweg. After all, the students are already paying substantial rents for this accommodation. 'It is the university's decision to be so international and to actively recruit students from abroad. So there is no justification for then charging them for the extra costs when there is not enough accommodation. The university should subsidize that until they have found a permanent solution to the room shortage.'
To the disappointment of the student council the executive board ignored their advice. Next year the student council plans to open up the discussion again, says Mirck. 'The rector has promised us that a new cost analysis will be made. The way we see it, accommodation should not be included in that analysis. That is what we want to discuss, not the rise in tuition fees as such.'