Minister delays switch to student loans after opposition pressure

Education minister Jet Bussemaker is to revise her plans to replace student grants with loans and has confirmed the new system will not come into effect in 2014 but in 2015.

The cabinet does not have majority support for the plans in the upper house of parliament and the minister has agreed to rethink her proposals.

Nevertheless, the switch to loans – with partial grants for poor students – is essential to save money and free up cash to invest in education, the minister said.

‘If we want to realise our ambitions, we need resources,’ Bussemaker said. ‘This is even more necessary because of the enormous growth in higher education student numbers. It’s a good development but threatens to pressure the quality,’ she said.

Free public transport for students will also now continue until 2017, the minister said.

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