Under the motto #nietmijnschuld (not my fault/debt), the Student Union and FNV Young have been campaigning for months against the student loan system. Protest rallies are being organised in six student cities. What has been announced as ‘Operation Formation’ is directed at the political parties that will be negotiating the new government coalition agreement.
Last Saturday, the unions held a Zoom meeting with 300 student participants. They want a return of the basic student grant, and full compensation for ‘tough luck students’ who, as of 2015, didn’t receive the grant anymore.
The first cohort of students subject to the new student loan system didn’t receive a basic student grant, but after graduation they do receive a study voucher worth two thousand euros for further education. Campaign leaders call this voucher ‘completely inadequate’. The ten thousand euros per student GroenLinks proposed in its election programme ‘seems more along the right lines’, FNV Young chair Bas van Weegberg said.
The unions are calling on all students to sign an online petition and join the national student strike on 3 June. They are being asked not to study on that day and not to attend (online) lectures.
According to LSVb chair Lyle Muns, it’s now or never: ‘This is our chance to get rid of the student loan system and replace it with a good alternative. The money is now being allocated.’