At least 200 students who were suspected of claiming too much student funding will not have to pay back the extra money because of an administrative error.
A court ruled that evidence collected by the education service DUO in fraud investigations was invalid because the checks had been carried out by freelancers or casual workers. The education ministry had stipulated that only employees were authorised to perform the checks.
Last year 2080 student files were inspected and 688 fines imposed, but in 88 cases judges have since declared the findings to be inadmissible because non-staff members were involved.
Anyone who began studying before 2015, when the student loans system came in, is entitled to a grant of at least €104 a month if they live at home, but those studying away from home receive €290 a month or more.
In March a student won a case against the agency after it emerged that one of the two people who inspected his records was a trainee.
DUO told De Volkskrant that non-staff workers had not been used for inspections since last summer.