MPs win concessions in student funding row
29 April 2005 , AMSTERDAM — MPs have backed plans to amend funding regulations of tertiary education students, winning also concessions on longer study duration and lower college fees.
29 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — MPs have backed plans to amend funding regulations of tertiary education students, winning also concessions on longer study duration and lower college fees.
Under parliamentary pressure, Education State Secretary Mark Rutte agreed on Wednesday to give students two years beyond the normal length of their course to finish their studies.
Rutte initially wanted initially to only grant a maximum of an extra 18 months to students in which to complete their studies before having to pay higher fees.
Fees currently may not exceed EUR 1,500 per year. In future, if a student starts a four-year course, they will have six years to complete the course before having to pay higher fees.
Currently, students complete their studies on average after 5.6 years, newspaper 'NRC' reported.
After the two-year period, tertiary education institutes can demand students pay EUR 3,000 per year. MPs succeeded in convincing Rutte to reduce his proposed fee of EUR 4,500.
In a few years, the limit placed on fees charged after six year of study will be lifted.
The new funding system will come into effect in 2007.
Meanwhile, about 1,000 students protested outside the parliament in The Hague on Wednesday.
This followed a spectacular squatters action in Amsterdam at the end of February as students demanded that Rutte amend his plans.
About 140 students were arrested on that occasion after they stormed the management offices of the University of Amsterdam, known as the Maagdenhuis.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news