Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

Tuition fee rise would be bad news for higher education

Tuition fee rise would be bad news for higher education

Tuition fee rise would be bad news for higher education

The Central Economic Commission (CEC) has come up with a proposal to double
Dutch university tuition fees to 2900 euros. There are also fears that the
new cabinet may try to further cuts in higher education by turning all
grants into loans. According to the CEC, budget cuts of 700 million euros
are necessary. Is this the best future for Dutch higher education or the
end of access for all?

Julia Wright, British PhD student in the Communication and Innovation
Studies group, gives her view:

“The argument that education is investing in your future is a nice one as
long as everyone can afford to make the investment. It depends on your
political position: I have not been brainwashed by free-market thinking, so
I tend to not to think of people as goods. Young people especially are
still growing up, and universities provide a safe environment in which to
do this. Universities are not only intended to train people for jobs, but
also to teach you to use your mental capacities, and to learn to think

Raising tuition fees will mean that Dutch students will have to choose the
course that is most likely to guarantee them a good income after
graduating, so fewer are likely to study art for instance. It also means
that more students are likely to have to work part-time while studying,
which may lead to a decrease in the pleasure experienced in study.

In Great Britain foreign students have always had to pay about three times
as much as British students. This means there are fewer European students
at British universities, but more from the Commonwealth, because these
students are entitled to grants from the British government. I think that
it is a good idea to have a range of tuition fee levels within Europe so
that students can go to universities that they can afford most easily.