Total student debt tops €11bn as student numbers grow


The total amount of money owned by former Dutch students through the student loan system has reached €11.2bn, broadcaster NOS reported on Thursday.

That is almost €1bn up on the total at the end of 2016 and 143% higher than in 2009, NOS said. The broadcaster bases its claim on figures from student loan body DUO.

The number of former students with debts has also soared during the same period – from just over 442,000 in 2009 to 777,750 last year.

The Netherlands abolished student grants in 2015 and since then all students, apart from the very poorest, have been able to borrow up to around €1,000 a month to fund their studies.

Research by family spending institute Nibud in 2017 showed that seven in 10 students have a debt when they finish their degrees. The average debt is around €20,000. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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