Even young VVD and NSC supporters oppose fining long-term delayed students

Students, trade unions and youth involved in politics, including those from the VVD and NSC parties, are deeply concerned about the return of the fine for long-term students, an old idea of the first Rutte Cabinet which received the support of the PVV party and is now back on the table.

‘The ‘langstudeerboete‘ (fine for long-term students) is a hard blow for students’, a letter to the new coalition PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB parties reads. The signatories, which include Lijst Bèta and Oras, are asking the parties to reconsider their plan. Dé Partij also supports the content of the letter.

The plan is to more than double tuition fees for long-term students. Students who take more than one year longer to complete their bachelor’s or master’s degree will have to pay an extra EUR 3,000 in tuition fees.

New protests announced

This is bad for students in many ways, say the signatories of the letter. Young people already suffer many mental problems and this fine will put them under even more pressure. Voluntary work, co-determination, top level sports, a board year … will all be compromised. Further education will also become less accessible to students on tight budgets.

The letter was drafted by three national student organisations (JOBmbo, ISO and LSVb) and  LKvV, the umbrella organisation of student associations. The JOVD and JSC have also added their signatures. These are the youth involved in the VVD and NSC political parties, which will soon form a cabinet with PVV and BBB.

The first protest has already been announced. The Landelijke Studentenvakbond (LSVb, the advocacy organisation for students) will stand on Domplein in Utrecht on Saturday 22 June. The LSVb sounds more fierce than the other organisations. Its President, Elisa Weehuizen, says that “There is only one option left: action.”

HOP, Bas Belleman

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