Nieuws - 25 mei 2012

Long-term students lose public transport privilege

Students who take too long to complete their studies will not be given new public transport smart cards in September. This appears in a so-called spring agreement reached among the political parties VVD, CDA, D66, GreenLeft and the Christian Union.

The Volkskrant newspaper published this morning the leaked 'final Spring Agreement' scheduled to be made public today. Apparently, transport privileges will be withdrawn from long-term students. Chairman Sebastiaan Hameleers of the ISO student organization is very disappointed. 'What's more, this wouldn't make any difference to the state treasury; it's stated on page three of the agreement that the revenue from this will be zero. Students who have decided to study in another city in September will be poorer by hundreds of euros. The only ones who will benefit are the public transport companies. It's as if students are being bullied.'
Basic student grant
The basic student grant for Master's students will not be scrapped next year, according to the agreement. This confirms what the CDA and PvdA said to the Higher Education Press Agency at the start of the month: the decision to implement a loan system for Master's students will be postponed to after the elections. The basic student grant provides Master's students with 3200 euros next year if they live out and 1147 euros if they live with their parents. The students would have to forego this amount of money if the cabinet had not fallen. Another issue which will be decided later is the extension of the loan repayment period from fifteen to twenty years.