No support for scrapping basic grant

18th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2007, The basic grant for students will remain intact. Parliament will not support a possible government plan to change the grant into a loan. Apart from the PvdA, all factions argued that higher teachers' wages should not be at the expense of student support.

18 October 2007

The basic grant for students will remain intact. Parliament will not support a possible government plan to change the grant into a loan. Apart from the PvdA, all factions argued that higher teachers' wages should not be at the expense of student support.

This emerged on Wednesday during an emergency debate in parliament. On Tuesday it was leaked that Education Minister Ronald Plasterk was planning to abolish the basic student grant to finance higher wages for teachers. A commission headed by Alexander Rinnooy Kan has concluded that EUR 1.2 billion would be needed to resolve the acute shortage of teaching staff. On a radio programme Finance Minister Wouter Bos confirmed on Wednesday that the government is considering the possibility of scrapping the basic grant. It is a long cherished wish of the PvdA to abolish the basic grant which is a gift and replace it by a loan that needs to be paid back depending on income.

Plasterk responded laconically. "I can also close down the university of Leiden." Serious alternatives are larger classes in secondary education, trimming down childcare facilities, scrapping of the financing of master degree courses or raising of college fees.

Parliament pointed out on Wednesday that the basic grant guarantees that higher education is widely accessible and that students might stop their studies if it means that they need to run up debts.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news

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