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Opposition wants rethink on student travel plans

Monday 12 November 2012

The government’s plan to scrap free travel for students and replace it with a discount card should be dropped, according to all the main opposition parties.

The decision to drop free travel from 2015 will make it too expensive for live-at-home students to attend classes and work-experience schemes, the parties say.

Student organisations are already campaigning against the plan, which they say will hit access to higher education. ‘People who are on an internship or taking a Master’s degree in another city will be even more out of pocket,’ a spokesman for the ISO said.

Students can currently choose between free weekday or weekend travel. If they drop out of college they have to repay the cost.

The new cabinet plans to replace free travel for university and hbo students with a discount card which will also be available to vocational training students (mbo).

Are you a student? What do you think?

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I'm not sure what to think about it. On one hand, it's an inconvenience to all those students who live and study in different cities. On the other hand, a government that is spending more than it's collecting needs to cut down on costs and everyone needs to share the burden.

It's better if they keep the student travel plans, and scrap the plan to switch from study grants to study loans. Once the study travel plan is implemented, students will move to the cities where they study. The study loan however, will make the youth from poor families consider if an education is really worth the debt it brings.

By Nikita | 12 November 2012 9:05 AM

Going slightly off topic, are all the plans announced by the government last week going to be scrapped this week, just to be rediscussed the week after?
This government does not sound serious at all.

By joanna | 12 November 2012 9:25 AM

if the cost wasn't covered I wouldn't have been able to do my internship at all as it was quite osme distancce from here I lived. I also know this to be the case of other students. Its very rare that you find a suitable internship close to where you are attending university or home. I hthink its highly hipocritical of the political parties to scrap things like this.

By sarah | 12 November 2012 9:46 AM

A possible alternative would be, instead of giving free travel card, giving card that give steep discounts like 85% off the full price.

That way, fares would still be cheap even for those travelling, say, from Rotterdam to Amersfoort every day (€ 2,40 per trip or so), but by not being totally "free", would create an incentive for students not to use trains excessively.

By A. L. | 12 November 2012 5:43 PM

Everyone I know on an internship gets a travel allowance from the sponsoring company - which they simply use as beer money since they have an OV card. Another option would be a means-test: low-income students still get free travel, middle-income get discounted travel, and high-income no discount. I agree that travel expenses shouldn't discourage education.

By Devin | 13 November 2012 8:07 AM

Devin- I like your idea, and I think that's how it should be done for the study subsidies as well. That way the government saves some money, and the poorest students can still afford to study.

By Sedirea | 13 November 2012 10:02 AM

Here again an example of Rutte's constant miscalculation. I was sorry to see him voted in but what could we do, we had little to choose from.

By Quince | 13 November 2012 11:44 AM

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