Dutch to cut university tuition in half for first-time students

University of Groningen (Photo: JoachimKohlerBremen/Wikimedia Commons). University of Groningen (Photo: JoachimKohlerBremen/Wikimedia Commons)

The Dutch cabinet appears poised to cut the cost to attend universities by half in a bid to make higher education more affordable for the first year of study. If approved tuition for public universities and hogeschools, or applied sciences universities, will fall to €1,030 for the freshman year starting in September.

Those wanting to become teachers can get the discounted price for two years, which the government hopes will address the current teacher shortage in the Netherlands.

Only new students who have not enrolled in a study before will be eligible for the reduced price. Students at part-time programs like Open University, or studying at university colleges will be able to take advantage of the program, the government said in a statement.

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the halving of tuition fees will apply for the next academic year. In this way we are making higher education more accessible so that everyone who really wants to start studying can do so," Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said.

Ministers on PM Mark Rutte's third cabinet have agreed to the proposal from Van Engelshoven. They have sent the proposed law to the Council of State for advice, with a request that it issue a ruling quickly. Following that, a bill will be submitted to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.