Students take action against late student fine: ‘We are not an ATM’ | RTL News

Studenten in actie tegen langstudeerboete: 'We zijn geen pinautomaat'

Milo, a Utrecht University student, is studying a Master’s degree in International Development Studies and is also a busy person. “I have a part-time job in catering and at the gym to make ends meet. I also supervise students in my spare time. I will spend a year on the board.”

It is now in its sixth year. “Because I first got a bachelor’s degree and do things on the side voluntarily, you are left behind. While you are studying, it is very important to do other things. You also learn from that. It does not mean that you sit and do nothing.”

The new coalition of PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB wants to put an end to students in the long term. Students who delay their studies for more than a year will have to pay €3,000 plus tuition fees from the 2026-2027 academic year. Tuition fees are now €2,530.

The new coalition expects to fill the state treasury with 282 million annually.


“It’s a ridiculous measure. It causes a lot of stress and anxiety,” says Milo, who is also a member of the Inter-City Student Counseling Organization (ISO). ISO has joined 40 other social and political youth organizations. They came up with a letter of urgency to cancel the procedure and announce measures if nothing happens.

The organizations fear that tens of thousands of students will have to deal with this every year. They talk about a specific number of 94 thousand students and describe this number as “unacceptable.”

The latest figures released by the Ministry of Education reveal different numbers. In 2022, 37,000 students would have received a late tuition penalty if it existed.

Not the preferred measure

National Security Council leader Peter Umtsigt previously defended the measure in a debate in the House of Representatives. According to him, many studies cost taxpayers five times more than students. “Then you can also ask the student, under normal circumstances, to complete the study during the period of study plus one year,” he explained.

“Ultimately, as a student, you’re sitting there with a significant contribution from the Dutch community. Is that my favorite measure in the Main Lines Agreement? I’m telling you frankly, it’s not. But I think it’s really defensible compared to the rest. Of the community that pays The price of this study place.”

But Eva Brandmann, head of the youth organization at the National Security Council, has nothing good to say about her parent party doing this. “The researchers point out that this fine increases stress and tension in a group already experiencing above-average stress. A late study fine was also imposed during Rutte I, but was abolished after two years. In practice, it turned out that many students stopped studying “They studied and became frustrated halfway through.”

Necessary but not the preferred procedure

Many students, as well as schools and parents, are very anxious, Milo says. “It’s as if students who are late always take the blame on themselves. It’s also possible that you get sick, have setbacks, or need your time for other important things. Many students already suffer from stress and mental complaints.”

According to her, students will consider not studying because they are afraid of being fined. “It also stunts student development. Enthusiasm for engagement boards is declining. Students will do less volunteer work. This is really bad for development.”

“Precise implementation”

It remains to be seen how this measure will be implemented. The negotiation agreement will be further detailed in the near future. Omtzigt promised careful implementation.

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