Following a judges decision this week to uphold the Dutch Education Secretary's move to "fine" full time higher education students who study too slowly, both current and future students can expect to pay full fees for every extra year (above one) that they need to complete their Bachelor degree.
This means that a student studying at a University of Applied Science will only have 5 years of higher education subsidized (at fees of around 1700 euro). For every subsequent year an additional 3000 euro will be charged bring the yearly fees to just under 5000 euro for Dutch and EU students. Students at non-funded institutions such as Wittenborg University will not be affected as all students pay full institution fees.
The regulation will be implemented with immediate effect, meaning that around 60,000 students in the Netherlands will be affected as of September this year, according to national student organizations such as the 'Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO)', the 'Landelijke Studenten Vakbond (LSVb)' and the 'Landelijke Kamer van Verenigingen (LKvV)'. These organisations have vowed to continue their fight against the regulation, first announced in 2010, after their failure to overturn it in the Dutch courts.
Part-time students can be relieved that for many of them the ruling has been overturned, however new full time students will have to be more careful in their choice of programme, as switching studies after the first year will count as a full year of study with regard to this regulation, as it is not based on programme, or institution, but an individual's study own study allowance.
The regulation with strengthen criticism of many University programmes that are being offered to students even though the chances of employment in the industries related to those programmes are low.
Although the regulation will affect all EU students, it is possible that non Dutch EU students are generally less inclined to 'make wrong choices' and switch studies, or drop out and return to Dutch higher education after an absence period. Non of these rulings affect non-EU students as all students from outside the European Union are non-funded, whether they study at state funded higher education institutions in Holland, or non-funded ones. For a list of all recognized institutions where non-EU students can study see http://www.wittenborg.eu/level-playing-field-dutch-ministry-education-issues-letter-entitled-recognized-providers-higher.htm
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