Nieuws - 3 maart 2011

University will pay Halbe levy

In the short run, the university will continue to finance the second year of the social master's programme, and absorb the first study delay fines for this group of students. Martin Kropff gave this assurance this afternoon to 250 Leeuwenborch students in a meeting concerning the education plans of the cabinet.

Kropff spoke today to a packed audience in Hofstee Hall.
Master's programmes of social sciences in the Netherlands last for only one year. However, Wageningen has opted to offer only two-year programmes, also in the social studies. The extra time is needed to give students knowledge in life sciences, known as beta-gamma integration. Students of such studies get their study grants for the second master's year from the university. The rector magnificus gave his word that this practice will continue despite the cabinet's cost-cutting measures.
The planned implementation of the Halbe levy from September onwards will lead to an additional problem. Leeuwenborch students who take just one more month to graduate will be considered as 'long term students' and get a fine of 3000 euros. This fine, too, will be borne by the university, so that social sciences students get the same treatment as beta-students. The conditions have yet to be formulated, but 'as long as we continue to offer a two-year master's programme, we will treat students in this way', Kropff said.
Will the two-year programme remain? The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation has now indicated that it will not finance this two-year variant. The question therefore arises as to whether this programme can be fitted into one year. A steering committee headed by Prof. Arther Mol will examine the possibilities and consequences. 'Will students take the two-year master's if the study grant is replaced by a social loan system?' Kropff wondered.