Dutch party rejects fines for slow students
The orthodox Christian party SGP is opposed to imposing a fine on students who, for whatever reason, are taking longer than the standard four years to complete their academic studies.
The government has adequate support for its proposal in the lower house of parliament, but it’s not clear whether it will also be able to muster a majority in the Senate.
Deputy Education Minister Halbe Zijlstra wants every student who takes more than one additional year to finish his university studies to pay an extra 3,000 euros on top of regular tuition fees. The measure, which is to take effect next year, would also apply to students already in their fourth or fifth year at university.
The SGP is opposed to penalising students who have had no opportunity to prepare for the new situation. According to an SGP spokesperson, the party "is always open to arguments, but to us this is a bridge to far."
Coalition parties VVD conservative and CDA Christian democrats have no majority in the Senate. The Freedom Party, which provides parliamentary support to the minority government in the lower house, currently has no representation in the Senate. Elections for a new Senate will be held on 23 May. The Freedom Party is certain to win a number of seats in the Senate, but it’s not clear whether the three parties will be able to secure a majority. A failure to do so would make them dependent on parties like the SGP for realizing their plans.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide