BM 64 – Keeping the Dutch government from financial cuts to grants and changes to public transport
ESU calls upon the Dutch government not to persist with its proposed abolishment of the grant system and the changes the government wishes to make on the regulations concerning public transport for students. Laying the burden upon students is not a way to fill up budget deficits. The accessibility of higher education will be in danger if these plans are carried through. Future generations of Dutch students will be unjustly indebted by the proposed loan scheme and changes in the regulations on public transport for students.
Because of the basic grants (€266 per month) for every Dutch student, higher education (although including tuition fees of approximately €1800 per year) is fairly accessible. Now that the government has plans to discard these grants, more students will have to take loans to complete their studies. Eventually they will end up with great debts, or will not start their studies because of the fear for these debts. These debts will further increase when public transportation will cease to be free for students. Also, with expensive public transportation, the shortage on housing for students in every city will increase even more because there will be more demand. The students will not only see their transportation costs rise immensely, but also their choice of studies, universities or even the choice to study at all, that will be severely influenced by the changes to public transportation for students.
Education is an investment in society and the Dutch government has to realise that it is important that every student has the possibility to be a part in this investment. These proposed cuts are a clear violation of the Dutch signatory status of ICESCR, whereby the Dutch government agreed to strive for “the progressive introduction of free education”.