Ministers agree to higher fees for honours students

Ministers have finally agreed to allow universities to experiment with higher fees for students taking honours courses.

Universities and hbo colleges which can prove they are offering extra value to top-flight students will be able to doubt the standard fee of €1,906 a year (from 2014). The fees are set by national government.

Education minister Jet Bussemaker said she hoped the move would meet the demand from students ‘who do not feel sufficiently challenged in standard education’.

Ministers were reluctant to introduce fee differentiation because of fears it could lead to a two-tier university system. Bussemaker now says she expects the benefits of an honours track for excellent students to reflect well on ordinary degree courses so that ‘other students benefit’ as well.

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