Student - October 2, 2012

Students send protest letter about loan system

The Wageningen student council and the councils of three other technical universities have made an 'emergency call' to informateurs Henk Kamp and Wouter Bos. The students of Wageningen University, the Delft University of Technology, the University of Twente and the Eindhoven University of Technology are afraid that scrapping the basic student grant will adversely affect the popularity of technical studies.

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'We are extremely glad that the slow student fine may be abolished,' says student council member Wouter Jan van Roosmalen. 'But we are afraid that resistance to the introduction of a social loan system will diminish. We are afraid that the specialized universities will be adversely affected.'
Technical studies are heavier and a Master's programme requires two years. Wouter Jan: 'As a result, science students can be delayed more than others, making these studies more costly. If VVD and PvdA were to scrap the basic student grant, technical studies will become unattractive while there is in fact more need for engineers. This can also be seen in the technical character of the top sectors.'
The students would prefer to have no social loan system at all. But the chance that this can happen seems really small to them. 'As such, we have proposed that the loan be turned into a gift in the fifth year of technical studies, so that these students do not have to pay more than other students, without any repercussions for other students. This measure would only cost 24 million euros a year.'
In the letter, the students implore the informateurs to make sure that they would not be the last students to have chosen a technical study. 'Let future engineers contribute too to innovation in the Netherlands.'

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