Students who need more than one year extra to complete their studies, will have to pay €3,000 euros additional lecture fees from next year onwards. This means that they will have to come up with a total of 4,700 euros. In addition, universities will receive a ‘penalty cut’ of another three thousand euros for every slow student. It is not clear at this stage whether the government will make exceptions for students with positions on boards or who are politically active. State secretary Zijlstra, who is responsible for this measure, will not send his bill to the Lower House until the end of January.
“I do understand the members of parliament’s motivation,” says Sándor Öry, chairman of student party NovUM. “They want to tackle the lazy easy-going students. But with this measure, they are hitting the active students instead. A very large group of those who study longer, do a lot of additional things alongside the studies.” Rector Gerard Mols is also not amused: “I am not for students staying at the university too long. I am in favour of universities ensuring that students graduate within the timeframe of their studies. And that universities are paid on the basis of their achievements. But I seriously object to negative sanctions for students and institutes.”