Leak: new basic student grant and compensation for ‘unlucky students’

According to various media, the government is considering a basic student grant of 255 euros per month for students living on their own and 91 euros for those living at home.

It is not yet known exactly to which students the basic grant will only apply. (Photo: Justyna Botor)

The basic student grant is expected to return in September 2023. Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf will send a letter about his plan to the House of Representatives tomorrow, but some details have already been leaked to Algemeen Dagblad.  

The new basic student grant is likely to be lower than before, but the additional student grant is expected to be higher. The latter is intended for students from low-income families. The additional grant will apparently be 419 euros if the parental income is less than 34,600 euros (the previous threshold was 33,000 euros). 


New: on basis of Algemeen Dagblad report.
Old: basic student grant according to the
Education Executive Agency.

The government has also calculated the costs for other grant amounts, Algemeen Dagblad reports, so as to allow the House of Representatives to take a well-considered decision.

It remains unclear whether students enrolling this autumn will also qualify for the new basic student grant, or if the new scheme will only apply to students starting from September 2023 onwards. Universities of applied sciences in particular want this to be clarified quickly, so as to prevent a dip in enrolments.

According to Algemeen Dagblad, the so-called ‘unlucky students’ under the student loan system will receive 359 euros for each year that they did not receive a basic student grant. This means that the total compensation for a four-year study programme would be 1,436 euros. Only students who have graduated would qualify for compensation. The same will apply to the basic student grant: it will only be a gift if you graduate.

The government also has a second scenario for compensating ‘unlucky students’, in which they would receive 259 euros for each year that they did not receive a basic student grant, without the condition of graduation. In this case, the total compensation for a four-year programme would be 1,036 euros. This option will also be discussed in the House of Representatives.

The old basic student grant was abolished with effect from September 2015. In so doing, VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks aimed to free up funds to improve higher education. In the end, however, only VVD wanted to keep the student loan system in place.

The first four cohorts under the student loan system got a study voucher worth 2,000 euros for additional education five to ten years after graduation. That also came up against heavy criticism: who would want to go back to school so early in their career? Why weren’t students allowed to use it to pay off some of their student debt instead?

But that would actually have cost more than the government had set aside. It took into consideration the fact that some of the ‘unlucky students’ would not take advantage of the voucher, whereas they would if it involved cash. If the House of Representatives wanted to facilitate that, the value of the voucher would fall to 1,770 euros per student.

HOP, Bas Belleman
Translation: Taalcentrum-VU

HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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