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Plan to scrap student grants may also be in trouble: FD

Tuesday 13 November 2012

The government’s plan to replace student grants with loans may run into trouble in the upper house of parliament, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

The paper says D66 and GroenLinks, the only other parties in the upper house which support the plan, are threatening to torpedo the move.

Both parties say the €800m the government will save by scrapping grants should be pumped back into higher education. But the new coalition is unwilling to guarantee this, the paper says.

The Liberal-Labour coalition does not control the senate.

Dropping the €260 a month grant for live-out students will saddle them all with a debt of at least €13,000 on graduation, Socialist MP Jasper van Dijk told the paper. ‘Technical studies take five years which means students at, say, Delft will build up a debt of at least €15,000, when we desperately need technicians.’


Should students get grants at all? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl



 

Readers' Comments

Just ask any American college grad what they think of leaving university with a huge debt before they even have a job. Not only does it not work out well for most, it encurages universities to higher tuition cost and banks making even bigger loans that students can not afford. Just like the US housing bubble, the USA is facing a student loan bubble. Don't I repeat don't let this happen. The idea is to give opportunity for young people to get an education, to serve and be productive in society. Not be in debt to the banks for years...

By Angela | 13 November 2012 4:07 PM

€13,000 is peanuts if the post secondary education is truly recognised and equivalent to other European universities (like Germany) and North America. I wish students would stop whining and be happy they had it this good for so long. Grants should be based on NEED. If the student's parents earn too much, let them finance their child through school.

By Michael | 13 November 2012 4:11 PM

The question for the government is whether they want to keep the Netherland's excellent status as a well educated nation.

More than that is these people study hard when they could be earning far more by learning to be bus drivers.

Is the small investment not worthwhile?

By Gemma | 13 November 2012 4:36 PM

I can only add that I studied in the U.K. in the late 60's. Although my father had full time work, without free tuition and a grant I would not have been able attend college.I feel a little obliged to provide the youth of today the same opportunities given to me.

By A.J. | 13 November 2012 4:41 PM

I am a UK citizen of 58 years now resident in France and working as a professor of international relations. In the recent past I was employed in the European Parliament working as an advisor on environmental politics. I speak 3 languages, including Dutch. I am educated to doctoral level and have a teaching qualification. Of all of this education, the only thing I ever had to pay for was a minimal fee for my Masters'. My parents were working people and my father deserted us (six children) when I was 16. Without grants I would likely have had no education to speak of beyond high school. I think I have been much more useful to society with it.

By Steve McGiffen | 13 November 2012 4:56 PM

Grants for the skill-shortage (eg, IT, nursing) degrees. Loans for the soft-skill (eg, sociology, journalism) degrees.
or
Grants for the normal duration of one undergraduate degree (4 years?) and loans for those who chop-and-change courses or become a perpetual student until 29 years old (lots of those around).

Just two ideas.

By osita | 13 November 2012 5:05 PM

€13-15,000? That's not even close to what Non-EU students pay to do a 1-year Masters Degree in the Netherlands!

If the Dutch desperately need technicians, there are quite a few (thousand) highly skilled immigrants in the NL looking for work. The problem is, they don't speak Dutch (yet). Then again, ALL Dutch speak English, right?

By Bob | 13 November 2012 8:17 PM

I have never expected that such a sitution will come in Holland and the government will so callous to his people.I have no more words to say if such grants and all are washed away.Think over the longterm effect the sorrows, pain and the hardship of the mejority of people who couldnot efford their childern with self budget.

By Someone | 13 November 2012 8:32 PM

I agree with Gemma. The Netherlands, a "kennis economy" must decide what it wants and then cater to that need.

I suggest Grants for as long as the study would normally take, thereafter a loan. The eventual debt that a student may incurr would then be as a result of his/her own choice, not a consequence of wanting to improve themselves and contribute to society.

By Sally | 14 November 2012 9:43 AM

I can say with enough confidence that enrollment in technical studies would suffer.

To start, it usually takes considerably longer to finish a degree. Why? Because it gets really really hard. I look at the way students live in other Dutch cities, it just doesn't compare. Technical students have to study more and take longer.

Now, if they have to get loans to study, then they'll graduate with a few more years of loans. Add to that the fact that salaries for engineers in the Netherlands are quite low compared to say, Germany and the UK, and you have a recipe for nobody wanting to do technical studies. Why study engineering when you can earn enough doing anything else?

By Bruno | 14 November 2012 5:01 PM

I'm usually surprised how many comments here are off-the-mark ignoring very basic facts. In this case:

@Angela: maximum tuition for EU citizens (for 1st degree) is set at a national level and universities can't raise it at whim like in US.

@Sally: that already happens, the grant only lasts 4 years

By Andre L. | 14 November 2012 5:14 PM

Perhaps just a slight change in the terms:for students who work in the Netherlands for 3 years after earning their degree,the grant is repaid.For those who use the Dutch Education system as an inexpensive way to earn a degree then use it to land a high paying overseas job then the grant is not repaid. That way the Netherlands gets repaid for their investment in a student. Yes, it is hard to get a job,but if you know that the financial burden is lifted if you work here for 3 years after graduation, you will be highly motivated to ensure you get a job. Even on low pay this would be a win/win.

By jaycee | 14 November 2012 7:07 PM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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