News - November 9, 2010

Student groups object to cabinet plans to make tardy students pay more

The Intercity Student Consultative Platform (ISO) and eleven other organizations have begun a petition against cabinet plans to raise tuition fees for students with study delays of more than a year.

The cabinet has stated in its manifesto that students who extend their studies by more than a year over and above the 'normal length' of their Bachelor's or Master's programme will have to pay three thousand euros more in tuition fees and relinquish their rights to the public transport smart card.
Universities and applied sciences universities would not benefit from the extra tuition fees as the government will be paying them three thousand euros less for each tardy student. The student organizations call this a 'fine'.
The organizations are afraid that the quality of higher education will come under pressure if the government carries out its plans. They hope that the 'Minimal Nominal' petition will make the magnitude of their protest against the cabinet's plans clear. And that these plans would be properly re-examined.
There is urgency in the petition, the ISO writes. 'We have a month to collect as many signatures as possible.' In December, the definite budget for 2011 - under which the plans for higher education fall - will be discussed in the Dutch House of Representatives.
Students who prolong the length of their studies will also be asked to disclose the reasons for the extensions. In December, their testimonies will be presented together with the petition to Minister Van Bijsterveldt.