[Column] Tuition fee raise coming

Student columnist Padmini Manivannan believes that TU Delft should find another way to manage the influx of international students than to increase fees. “This seems unfair.”

Non-EU students who thought that TU Delft might be a reasonably affordable option in the upcoming years for a master’s or bachelor’s degree, think again. If the Executive Board has its way, the fees for non-EU students will increase significantly.

Apparently, this is being done to limit the influx of students and maintain the quality of education. The Board also reasons that its funding is low and, since a lot of other universities have higher tuition fees, the fee hike would make sense.

Personally, as a non-EU student, this seems quite unfair. The fee for this particular demographic has been steadily rising over the last 10 years a lot more than the inflation rate and the costs for domestic and EU students. I realise that quality education and infrastructure cost a lot of money. But if the main agenda is to curtail the inflow of students in order to maintain quality, then TU Delft should trust its admissions committee to do a good job and make the admission criteria more stringent.

‘Increased fees might not even have the intended effect’

Most non-EU students that come to study at a university here come in hopes of a better quality education and life. It is an investment that warrants the risk of taking a loan and moving continents. The point being that if the university increases its fees, it might not even have the intended effect. Many talented people would choose more cost-effective schools while others might be paralysed by debt after graduation. Most people would still end up paying the high cost anyway. And there would be just as many, if not more, students coming in. Only this time, in general, more students would come from affluent families.

The plan targets an already vulnerable group that pays more not just for tuition but also housing (a whole other discussion which I might address later). And although it is an investment in quality education, it shouldn’t have to cost this much and shouldn’t be passed on to only non-EU students. The Board’s claim that it might be a temporary solution does not sound convincing either.

Over the year, TU Delft has risen high up in the world university rankings. It has built up a strong reputation academically and it is the top choice for a lot of non-EU students. I personally feel that TU Delft should take responsibility and find a solution for stabilising student numbers that, at the least, allows TU Delft to stay a financially viable option and does not discourage qualified international students from coming here.

Padmini Manivannan is a Masters student studying Signals and Systems at TU Delft and hails from Chennai, India. She loves doodling in her free time.

Also read this recent letter: Treat international students as equals

Padmini Manivannan / Columnist

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