Cabinet: we are going to limit institutional tuition fees


If all goes well, Dutch students will have to pay less if they try to obtain a second degree. The Cabinet approved the elaboration of this plan this afternoon.

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Students pay the statutory rate for their first Bachelor's and Master's degree. In the coming academic year, that is 2,143 euros per year. But for a second bachelor's or master's degree, they often have to pay a lot more.

Universities and universities of applied sciences may ask the institutional rate for such a second degree. They are free to determine that rate themselves. Particularly in the Medicine bachelor programme the differences are extreme: from 20,000 euros a year in Utrecht to 32,000 euros in Maastricht. The differences can be huge in other programmes as well.

Drawn up
But thanks to a law amendment, there is now a maximum rate for such second degrees. At the same time, this will become the minimum rate for students from outside of Europe. The Senate still has to pass the amendment, but the minister has already drawn up the plans and receives the support of the cabinet.

The maximum will not be the same for all programmes. The idea is that the rate should never be higher than the statutory tuition fee (which will soon be 2,143 euros) plus the funding that the government normally provides for students (for example 6,000 euros per year). But one programme is more expensive than the other. That is why there are three variants of government funding (low, high, and top), and the funding for bachelor’s and master’s degrees also differs, as well as for universities of applied sciences and universities.

Students pay only half of the tuition fee in their first academic year. For teaching programmes, this also applies in the second year. Another exception: the high institutional rate does not apply to those who retrain to the education or healthcare sectors.

Students with double bachelor programmes have also been considered: for example, anyone who starts a bachelor's degree in Dutch in the final year of the bachelor's degree in Economics can also complete the second bachelor's degree at the low rate.

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