Stricter measures against fraudulent students

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Students lying about living away from home to receive higher student grants will be more severely punished with fines.

The Hague -- Students who claim to be living away from home to receive a higher student grant, will be more severly punished with fines, announced Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk Monday.

The minister was quoted in Novum as saying the fraudulent students would be handled just like people who falsely claimed with social benefits.

Plasterk is considering imposing a 25 percent penalty on the fraudulent students as announced in July which is similar to the social benefit penalties.

Parents and others, who knowingly cooperate in the provision of a fraudulent postal address, may also be fined.

Severe cases of fraudulent students should also be prosecuted by criminal law. The new measures should be regulated by law in 2011.

However, up till now, only excess money received by fraudulent students has been recovered.

Students must prove to the IB-groep (student grant authority) that they are living away from home instead of having the IB-groep prove it.

The social inspectors will also conduct visits to students who are suspected of address-fraud.

Students living away from home get EUR 260 per month as compared to students who live at home receive EUR 95 per month. Student grant frauds are estimated at EUR 80 million.

Vanessa Andreae / Expatica

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