Friday 30 September 2022

Dutch Olympic athletes face fines for being too slow at university

At least a quarter of the Dutch squad for this summer’s Olympics in London may end up with a fine for taking too long to finish their college or university degrees, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Of the 180-strong team, around 50 are still studying and are likely to end up with a €3,000 fine for taking more than a year too long to graduate.
‘Almost every top sportsman or women is a slow student,’ Jet Bussemaker, rector of Amsterdam’s hbo college, told the paper. ‘I think this ruling is a direct threat to Dutch sport.’

Bussemaker, Doekle Terpstra of the InHolland college group and Marcel Winters for the Fontys hbo colleges are urging the government to make an exception for top athletes.
‘We are concerned that our medal winners in London will be congratulated by the queen and the prime minister on one day and the next get a letter from the education ministry fining them for being too slow,’ they said in a statement.
The Fontys college group has set up a special fund to help athletes meet the extra cost for one year. ‘International training programmes can make it difficult to study at this level anyway,’ Wintels told the paper.
Is the government right to encourage students to finish their degrees quickly? Have your say using the comment box below.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.