Thursday 20 January 2022

Change your lectures to avoid rush hour travel, universities told

Universities and colleges which do not stimulate students to use public transport outside rush hour could get less government money in the future, says education minister Jet Bussemaker.

The government had planned to scrap student rail cards but agreed not to in return for a commitment to cuts of €200m in spending on the scheme. That is only possible if more students travel in cheaper non-peak periods.

Bussemaker now wants universities and colleges to amend their lecture schedules to take account of this. Dutch students are entitled to free public transport either during the week or at weekends to enable them to attend classes or return home if they live away.

Higher education news agency HOP reports that many higher education institutions are unenthusiastic about the idea.

Asked what would happen if they did not discourage peak period travel the minister said: ‘Colleges and universities will miss out on some of the investment. That seems to me to be a good reason to think seriously about it.’

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