The Dutch government wants to increase the interest on student loans as of 2020, according to a legislative proposal sent to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, last week. The measure must bring 226 million euros into the treasury, and is intended to keep the loan system affordable, ANP reports.
Higher education in the Netherlands must be able to internationalize further, but only if it improves the quality of education and if Dutch students are not displaced, according to Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education. She is therefore giving universities and universities of applied sciences more room to internationalize, but this will go with clearer conditions and stricter supervision, ANP reports.
Unions, associations and interest groups had mixed reactions to the Rutte III government's plans for the future. While some are carefully optimistic about what the Netherlands will hold in the coming years, the new government agreement left others with only concerns, according to reactions on the Volkskrant's liveblog of the agreement presentation.
While the study year at all universities and colleges in the Netherlands already started, hundreds of international students are still unable to find a place to stay, according to student union LSVb. Out of necessity they're sleeping in hostels, campsites or even cars, the union said, according to ANP.
Amsterdam has the biggest student housing shortage in the Netherlands, according to an investigation by national student union LSVb. The union concluded that the Dutch capital has 12 thousand fewer student homes or rooms than students, Het Parool reports.
The massive shortage can partly be attributed to strict rental policy in the private sector making it hard for students to find a private home to rent in Amsterdam, combined with a shortage of available corporation housing.
A massive 73 percent of students in the Netherlands pay too much in rent, according to a study by national student union LSVb. On average student rents are 55 euros per month higher than allowed by the property valuation point system. Amsterdam students are worst off - 80 percent pay an average of 115 euros too much rent per month, ANP reports.
The University of Amsterdam is launching a test run in allowing part-time students to pay tuition per subject they take, instead of paying for a whole year. The University believes that this will be ideal for motivated students who don't have time to attend university full time because they also work, take care of a family member, have their own business or have to do an internship, Het Parool reports.
When the basic study grant was abolished, the government promised that the money saved would be invested in education. The government is failing to live up to that promise, according to student organizations ISO and LSVB, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to the organizations, in the year 2000 the government spent nearly 20 thousand euros for each student at university. In 2025 that amount will be only 14,300 euros. There is also a decline for students attending colleges.
The national student loan debt is at its highest level ever, according to figures from education organization DUO. In total students and former students currently owe 17.6 billion euros to the state, compared to 12 billion euros five years ago, the Telegraaf reports.
The National Student Union LSVb launched a hotline for young people having problems with their student housing allowance. An adjustment to the Basic Registrer for Addresses and Buildings Act means that student rooms are no longer registered under individual house numbers. This may have consequences for housing allowances, according to ANP.
Many students who want to study abroad end up not going. According to a study by intercity student consultation ISO and the national students union LSVb, 70 percent of HBO students and 35 percent of WO students want to study abroad, but never go
Students and Dutch universities seem to be losing interest in university democracy. Almost all institutions in the country saw a drop in election attendance and only about 3 in 10 students cast a vote this year, the Volkskrant reports based on figures received from all universities.
College students with a study delay get much less financial support than university students in the Netherlands, according to a study from the national students union LSVb
Student and youth organizations called on Education Minister Jet Bussemaker to reverse the loan system and reinstate the basic grant to boost enrollment for higher education, in a letter sent to her on Friday. If the government is unwilling to do so, the organizations call on her to implement measures against the growing inequality in higher education
Some English-languaged lectures at Dutch universities and colleges are given in such bad English that the students have a hard time following what's going on, according to a study done by student union LSVb. A massive 57 percent of the 269 surveyed students indicated that their lecturer's English is substandard and that they would have gained more knowledge if the lecture was just given in Dutch.
Student's union LSVb are concerned about a planned change in the assessment rules for college and university courses currently being examined by the Ministry of Education. This change would shift assessment from courses to institution, and the union worries that this would allow sub-par courses to fall through the cracks
The D66 in Amsterdam wants students to live together with ex-convicts, refugees and elderly people. According to the party, this would solve two problems - the cutbacks in the prison system and the housing shortage among students.
Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education states that student loan abuse needs to be tackled more efficiently. In a letter to Parliament, she pointed out that stricter controls will be imposed on abuse of grants for students living away from home.