Ministers Ingrid van Engelshoven and Arie Slob presented their extensive 8.5 billion euro support package for education and research on Wednesday. They are hoping this will help suffering students, researchers and institutions escape the worst effects of the coronavirus crisis.
The good news
A much discussed part of the package is a fifty percent reduction in tuition fees for the coming academic year for ‘all’ students. This begs the question of whether the financial good news also applies to international students, particularly foreign students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
For the latter group, any programme delay is really a costly proposition. They do not pay the statutory tuition fees – currently €2,143 – but the so-called institutional fee. This can run up to ten thousand euros more than the regular fee.
And does this support measure also apply to Dutch students who pay the institutional fee, for example because they are doing a second Bachelor’s or Master’s degree?
The not-so-good news
They will all pay reduced tuition fees next year, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education said when asked. ‘These students will not receive the fifty percent reduction, but a fixed amount equal to the amount deducted from the statutory tuition fee for other students. In other words, they will be receiving a discount of about one thousand euros.’
But who knows — maybe the universities and universities of applied sciences will themselves move to offer these students financial assistance. Last summer some institutions decided of their own volition that students from outside the EEA with programme delays in their final year be allowed to finish their degrees for a reduced fee.