Science - March 17, 2005

‘Settled’ EU students entitled to grants

The European Court of Justice ruled this week that students from EU member countries are entitled to study grants and loans in other countries of the Union, as long as they can show that they are sufficiently integrated in the society of that country.

At present EU students in the Netherlands are only entitled to financial support for their study if they work at least 32 hours per month. The court’s ruling will have retroactive effect, however, so that students whose application for finance was rejected will be able to reapply.

The court decided that current British laws discriminated against students from other EU countries. Its ruling is based on the case of Frenchman Dany Bidar, who accused the British government of discriminating on grounds of nationality. He moved to England with his mother in 1998 where he completed his secondary education. His application for a grant to finance his study at University College London was rejected.

It is not yet clear what the effect of the ruling will be in the Netherlands. The court in Luxemburg stated that in the case of Bidar he had ‘established a genuine link with the society’, but that it would be up to the EU countries themselves to decide the criteria for being ‘settled’. / JH

Re:act