Dutch student loan body Duo will be ‘less quick’ to refuse loans to students from elsewhere within the EU after losing several court cases, a spokesman told broadcaster NOS.
Students from other EU countries with a part time job are entitled to loans under EU equal treatment rules, which say foreign workers should have the same rights as those in the country they are living in.
The rules say the work must be ‘real and actual’, but do not include the number of hours. Duo uses a 56 hour minimum – and this has led to a number of legal cases.
‘Students think that they won’t qualify so they don’t ask,’ lawyer Jillian van Damme, who has won several cases against Duo, told the broadcaster. ‘Students who do ask often let it go if they are turned down.’
It can also take up to a year for students who do pursue their rights to finally be awarded a grant, she said.
MPs are concerned that the new Duo policy will lead to an increase in the cost of student finance which is already under pressure, Nos said. From 2023, basic grants are being reintroduced, eight years after they were abolished.
Duo now says it will look at individual cases if students work fewer than 56 hours a month and has included the option on its website.
In 2021, some 6,000 European students got Dutch student loans, around 7% of the total studying in the Netherlands.
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