Students delighted by parliament's demands to abolish loan system
Motions adopted during the Budget Debate on the abolition of the student loan system and the reintroduction of the basic study grant were received with cheers by the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO). "It is fantastic news that a large majority in parliament definitely declared itself against the loan system. Thanks to these motions, a next cabinet can simply no longer avoid the introduction of a new student grant system: it is the final blow for the loan system," said chairman Lisanne de Roos of ISO. The motions are "a cause for great celebration for students in the Netherlands," according to De Roos.
The National Student Union (LSVb) spoke of an important step towards greater equality of opportunity in education. Chairman Ama Boahene: "The student loan system greatly increases inequality between students. It is very good news that a large majority of parliament is now speaking out against this system."
The student union said that this is only the beginning. Boahene: "No concrete actions have followed from the adopted motions yet. It is now important to develop an alternative to the loan system in collaboration with student organizations. And compensation must be made for the loan system generation."
ISO pointed out that since the introduction of the loan system in 2015, various problems arose, such as inequality of opportunity, pressure to perform, and psychological complaints among students. According to the student organization, students also make other choices to keep their debt as low as possible. "With the reintroduction of a basic grants, students will once again have the breathing room to develop themselves to the fullest during and after their studies. The new cabinet will have to heed the unequivocal call from parliament to relieve students financially."
ISO said it would like to talk to the parties in the cabinet formation process about what the new student grant system should look like. Previously it came up with a new system called Students On Their Own Feet. In addition to a basic grant, this includes a supplementary grant and "fair compensation for the generation of students who studied under the student loan system." De Roos: "Or plan is on a silver platter."
Reporting by ANP