The government is planning to give students who live away from home a basic grant of €255 per month from the 2023-2024 academic year, while students who live at home would get €91, sources in The Hague have told the AD.
The government has pledged to bring back student grants, which were abolished in 2015, a move which has seen student debt soar. Since then, students have had to borrow to fund their degree courses, and run up an average debt of around €25,000 by the time they graduate.
Prior to the abolition of grants, students who live away from home were given €260 a month towards their upkeep and college fees. The rest they could borrow and on average they left university or college with some €15,000 in debts.
The decision to bring back grants is included in the new government agreement and is backed by most parties.
Ministers are also looking at increasing the extra grant for students from low income families, the AD said. To qualify for the full additional grant of €419, their parents should have an income below €34,600, the paper said.
The cabinet is also planning to give a small amount of compensation to students who were denied grants – possibly as little as €359 a year, to a maximum of €1,436.
‘If these are the real figures, then they are shocking,’ Joshua de Roos, deputy chairman of student union LSVB. ‘These amounts are lower than the old grant, so students are not exactly benefiting. Nevertheless, this is a good start compared with the 100% loan system.’
The plans are expected to be discussed at Friday’s cabinet meeting and debated in parliament next month.
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