Coronavirus support package ‘welcome gesture’ for students and Inholland
Yesterday Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven and Minister for Primary and Secondary Education and Media Arie Slob presented a National Education Programme. The programme will cover the years 2021 and 2022 and is geared towards redressing the effects that the coronavirus measures have had on education, from primary school to higher education. It includes a sizeable financial gesture to compensate higher education and students during the coronavirus crisis. Tuition fees will be halved for anyone studying next year. In addition to this gesture, 644 million euros will be made available to research universities and universities of applied science to compensate them for the sharp rise in student numbers.
As the coronavirus crisis has had a considerable impact on students – financially, psychologically and in terms of their personal development – all students will be given a 50% discount on their tuition fees next year. This measure is being introduced in part because many students have also lost their side jobs during the crisis. Furthermore, students will be allowed to use their public transport pass for an extra year if they need more time to complete their studies.
The millions of euros being pumped into higher education are intended for hiring additional teaching staff, among other things. This is highly necessary, as far greater numbers of young people are choosing to follow a course of higher education, with reasons including cancelled gap years or trips round the world. Inholland has also seen a steep rise in applicants. We have accepted an additional 8,803 students, a year-on-year increase of 7.8%.
‘Through these financial measures, the government is demonstrating that it is taking the problems that education is facing due to the coronavirus seriously,’ said President of Inholland’s Executive Board Bart Combee in a response. ‘Discounted tuition fees will very much be welcomed by students, taking the pressure off and giving them less to worry about. It’s a welcome gesture for our university of applied sciences and will help us to do our utmost to foster students’ success and well-being, over and above our existing plans. It will also help us to reduce the pressure of work and maintain the quality of the education we are providing.’