Coronavirus compensation: internationals will also get a discount

Orientation day 2020, Photo: DUB

Ministers Ingrid van Engelshoven and Arie Slob unveiled an extensive support package of 8.5 billion euros for education and research. They hope that this will help struggling students, researchers and institutions to dodge the worst effects of the coronavirus crisis.

The good news
A much discussed part of the package is a fifty percent reduction in tuition fees for the coming academic year, valid for “all” students. This raises the question whether the measure also applies to international students, particularly those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

For the latter group, any programme delay is indeed a costly proposition. These students do not pay the statutory tuition fees – 2,143 euros – but rather the so-called institutional fee, which can run up to 10,000 euros more than the regular fee.

Dutch students pursuing a second Bachelor's or Master's degree also pay the institutional fee. Does the new measure also apply to them?

The not-so-good news
They will all pay reduced tuition fees next year, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education clarified. “These students will not receive the fifty percent reduction, but rather a fixed amount equal to the amount deducted from the statutory tuition fee for other students. In other words, they will be receiving a discount of about one thousand euros”.

But who knows — maybe the universities and universities of applied sciences will come up with other solutions themselves to offer financial assistance to these students. Last summer, some institutions decided of their own volition that students from outside the EEA experiencing programme delays in their final year would be allowed to finish their degrees for a reduced fee.