‘Dutch student debt is expanding by 55 cents a second’

Student debt in the Netherlands has reached a new high of €17.6bn, the Telegraaf  said on Wednesday. Five years ago, the amount that has to be repaid to the government was put at only €12bn.

‘With the launch of the new student borrowing system, debt is climbing steadily. The 700,000 students borrowing for their studies now owe an average of more than €14,000. This often makes it difficult for them to enter the housing market,’ said Jan Sinnige, chairman of the student organisation ISO.

The ISO is launching its study debt meter on Wednesday. ‘We expect this to indicate a growth in student debt by 55 eurocents per second, Sinnige explained. He is urging the new government to inform future students of the true cost of a university education.

Chairman Jarmo Berkhout of the LDVb student union goes a step further. ‘Tuition fees should be lowered. In less than 10 years time tuition has risen by at least €446, bringing the total to more than €2,000 next year. The threshold keeps getting higher,’ he said.

The Netherlands scrapped student grants in 2015.