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Dutch students face university fees

Master's students in the Netherlands will no longer receive free funding to study and will instead be forced to make up the difference in loans

Master’s students in The Netherlands will no longer receive free government funding, writes University World News.

This is the biggest budget cut ever for Dutch students, says student union LSVB.

The Dutch education authorities say students will face additional costs of up to EUR 3,200 a year. They will be able to pay back the loan, provided by the government, over 20 years. The law is part of a EUR18 billion set of cuts introduced by the coalition cabinet.

State still pays most student costs

Loans will be provided by the government to cushion the blow of additional costs of up to EUR 3,200 which students will pay back over 20 years.

Undersecretary of Education Halbe Zijlstra said »It is not unreasonable to ask more of students financially. They will prosper in the future because of their education«.

He added that the state will still be paying the majority of higher education costs.

More cuts planned

The move is part of a EUR 18 billion programme of spending cuts by the Dutch government.

Others question the wisdom of these cuts. The Netherlands will need more science and technology postgraduates in the future, says chair of the Dutch University of Technology Anne Flierman.

Some cuts have already been made, with students who take too long to finish their degrees facing fines of EUR 3,000. Deeper cuts have already been planned, with Zijlstra bringing up the possibility of changing undergraduate students’ grants into loans as well.

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