Monday, 14 December 2015 - 07:53
Flexible tuition plan unveiled by ruling coalition MPs
The VVD and PvdA want to give students the option to pay for their studies per subject, instead of the current "one size fits all" method of study financing in which students pay per year of studying. In an opinion piece in the Volkskrant on Monday VVD parliamentarian Pieter Duisenberg and PvdA parliamentarian Mohammed Mohandis write that sticking to this "straitjacket studying" puts the Netherlands behind. "It is high time that our students get room to develop and set up their studies in an appropriate way." The coalition parliamentarians point out that more and more students no longer want to stick to the traditional form of studying - studying full time at one institution and graduating in four years. An increasing number of students are combining their studies with a part time job, their own businesses or caring for a loved one. "The financing of education should make the students' dreams and ambitions possible, not restrict them." "For that reason we want the student based part of financing to no longer be calculated on the basis of a full academic year, but per subject the student takes. The student will then be able to register for individual subjects and only pay for the courses he follows. Eventually the institution gets an equal amount of funding for every student, but it no longer matters if you complete your studies in one go or combine it with other ambitions", the parliamentarians write. In September a trial run with this type of financing started with 1,000 participating students at the University of Amsterdam and Hogeschool van Amsterdam in September. If this trial is a success, paying by subject must eventually become possible for all students in the Netherlands, according to the parliamentarians.