No debate, but a working group. That was the rather surprising outcome of the action taken by University Council chairman Herman Kingma in the dispute between the Executive Board and the student fraction in the University Council about the instalment payments of the institute’s tuition fees.
For the coming year, these will again be 8,500 and 12,000 euros, respectively, for the bachelor's and master's programmes. The students want to pay in twelve monthly instalments, also in the case of fines for those taking longer to complete their studies and the higher lecture fees for the University College; for all kinds of reasons, mainly of an administrative nature, the Board wants to stick to the eight instalments scheme that has been in place since March 2010. Students had calculated beforehand that in particular students with a loan (which is paid on a monthly basis) would have problems. A deadlock threatened, Kingma says looking back, because the students could have torpedoed the whole proposal about the level of the institute’s tuition fees with their dissatisfaction about the instalments terms.
But last Wednesday, it turned out that the issue had already been solved before the official start of the University Council meeting. During the preliminary meeting, without the Executive Board, the matter was brought to the attention of the participants by the students, after which Kingma discussed a compromise with the Executive Board as soon as they had arrived in the corridor to join the meeting. During the subsequent official discussion of the matter in the public meeting, all that remained was for Executive President Martin Paul to issue a statement saying that he did not want students to suffer financially and that the University Council would therefore set up a working group with the whole-hearted support of the Board. Student member Constanze Müller showed her “gratitude” for the gesture; Kingma praised the Board for “this excellent solution”.
It has been agreed that there will be an arrangement before the end of February that will have no negative consequences for the students.