The new government decided that students who do not take their study serious have to pay more. Students who study one year longer than the normal period which is determined for that study get to pay 3000 euro on top of the normal tuition fee. This does not only involve new students, but current students as well. On top of this it involves both the Dutch as well as other Nationalities. I totally agree with the idea behind it. Why should the government pay for students who behave like a rock star during Uni?
However, there is one thing this new law doesn’t take into account. Everyone who does extra curricular activities will get punished as well. These activities are here to boost your abilities in both social and educational aspect. I could remember a time when employees liked having students who did stuff next to their study. This law will make it extremely hard to acquire new board members, because serious board functions usually involve a delay in your study due to a lack of time. Most of these boards take care of the social activities which make a university interesting for students. I don’t think the Uni is very willing to pay for fulltime employees who will take care of these things?Besides board or active members of societies, student- and study-associations, the less fortunate in the society will take a bitchslap to the face as well. Believe me, I’m not trying to come across like a hippie who thinks we should all be equally rewarded for our purpose in life. I do however think it will become harder for students who come from a impoverished environment, have a handicap, have sick mothers or fathers etc. to decide they want to go to Uni. Nobody wants to be in a great debt after receiving a degree and not every student can count on daddy to come save the day when they are in trouble.
A month or so ago we received an email from the university. They were inquiring whether students thought paying extra for their education was a good idea. They motivated this with the statement that these additional costs where necessary for maintaining and improving the educational level. let me say that I am fully against this idea. First off all because they motivated it with the fact that several University Colleges around the Netherlands did this as well. Because University Colleges want to keep a special status within Universities (don’t ask me why), they may have the privilege to ask more money from their students, but don’t go and ask this from the normal not so special programmes. Secondly, I think 1672 euro per year is a bunch of money which could adequately cover the costs if the bureaucracy would disappear, but I’ll come back to that later. Thirdly, because 1672 euro is enough for the resources, educational material and services we receive from my faculties (Psychology and Health Sciences). Students constantly complained about the organization and the (old) curriculum. I can’t judge the reformed curricula from both faculties, because I never was apart from it (they redesigned the curriculum this year). I therefore will leave this up to the freshmen who started studying this year. Finally, the services for students who study two bachelors at the same time could improve thirty fold. I myself studied two bachelors at the same time for the past two years. It demands creativity to try and fit everything into your schedule and this therefore didn’t work out every time. Result: delay in study.
You may now get why I am fully against the idea. It involves myself and friends and this causes me to get extra pissed about it. I would be against it anyways, but you may imagine that the motivation originated from the fact that I’m in a lot of trouble when they go through with this kind of law. It is my true opinion that if the government wants to keep the intellectual level of the Netherlands at least as high (or low) as it is right now they should take other measures to cut back in costs. Maybe they should try to influence the universities to create a more effective organization. There is way too much bureaucracy and lack of transparency. Guess this counts for every governmental institution. Maybe Rutte and Verhage should first try to cut back on their own institutions before ruining our educational system?
If they do decide to go through with this ridiculous law, I guess they will further damage our educational level instead of improving it. Talented students who wish to do more than just one study, do extra curricular activities and keep the University booming are punished, as well as the less fortunate. These students will immigrate to other countries in either Europe or beyond. Ah well at least they won’t cost you, the taxpayer, any money. We will be gone forever… or at least me.
Please sign the petition on www.minimaalnominaal.nl in order to let your voice be heard. paying 3000 euro on top of the normal tuition fee is ridiculous in case you have a good reason.