Maastricht. It was fairly busy at last week’s debate on the States-Provincial elections, organised by student association Koko. On Wednesday 2 March the Dutch choose the States-Provincial, which is responsible for matters of sub-national or regional importance.
Over a hundred students came to hear the opinions of the liberals (VVD), the labour party (PvdA), the socialists (SP), the greens (GroenLinks), the social democrats (D66) and the local party Partij Nieuw Limburg (PNL). The leader of the Christian democrats (CDA) was ill, while the right-wing PVV declined to come.
One of the subjects was the government’s langstudeerdersregeling; the plan to make students who do not finish their degree in the desired time pay €3000 extra in tuition fees. D66 is against this plan, claiming things should be the other way around; this is the time to invest in education, not make cuts in it. PvdA and GroenLinks agreed. The SP saw this as a way of having students foot the bill for the economic crisis. The PNL would like to see students get more guidance when choosing their study programme. The VVD, the only party in favour of the plan, compared it to a parking ticket; if you get back to your car too late, you’ll be hit with a fine.