Dutch government halves tuition fees for students in the Netherlands
The Dutch government has announced a number of measures to support the future of the Dutch education system following the extensive backlogs caused over the past year by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. One measure will see tuition fees halved for the coming academic year.
Dutch government invests 8,5 billion euros into education
Outgoing cabinet ministers for education, Ingrid van Engelshoven and Arie Slob, have presented a series of measures that will cover all levels of education, from primary schools to Dutch universities. For months, many have been complaining about the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on their or their child’s education. Children and young people across the country have had to adapt to online learning as schools and universities closed their doors.
In order to lessen the frustration felt by many and combat the long-term effects of the pandemic, the cabinet has proposed a series of measures that together will cost a total of 8,5 billion euros. Six billion euros will go towards primary, secondary and special education.
Van Engelshoven and Slob were adamant that coronavirus should not result in fewer opportunities for young people, and that the current generation of students deserves every opportunity for a fully-fledged education and a good future. Slob said the plan they have presented is “unprecedented in nature and size.”
While the plan does outline a few specific uses for the fund, the cabinet has decided not to determine any concrete rules for where the money should be invested. Instead, schools across the Netherlands will be able to freely draw money from the fund over the next two and a half years.
Support for pupils and students of all ages
As part of these plans, the cabinet has agreed to allow university and higher education students to use their student public transport cards (OV-chipkaart) for an additional year if they need to take the extra time to complete their study.
Students at universities or studying at the HBO and MBO levels who risk losing their supplementary or basic grant will also receive an allowance to support them. Additional funds will also be made available to extend mental health care facilities for students.
The government will also invest in infrastructure which will allow primary and secondary school students to receive free tutoring over the summer months in order to catch up on any learning they may have missed. Money will also be invested in improving the social and emotional infrastructure and support in primary and secondary schools.
Furthermore, Slob and Van Engelshoven confirmed that the government would continue to provide 645 million euros of support per year for Dutch universities and to compensate them for the current influx of students.