Adjusted according to inflation

Council members at UU and HU demand higher compensation for student board members

Geld. Foto: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The compensation received by students serving on the boards of organisations recognised by the university and the university of applied sciences (such as sports, study and student associations) hasn't increased in eight years, even though the cost of living has risen due to inflation, write the student council members in a memo addressed to the Executive Board. Said compensation is 425 euros a month. 

According to the student council members, students working on boards experience financial stress because being part of a board comes with costs. However, they often don't have time for a side job. 

"Because the fee has stayed the same all these years, the financial situation of students serving on boards is worsening each year. The appreciation for their work also appears to be decreasing. This is an undesirable situation, considering students are less and less inclined to join a board for a year," says the memo. Raising the fee could help, they argue.

The student council members propose the compensation to be raised to 516.14 euros, an amount that is adjusted to inflation since 2015. In addition, they want the fee to keep accompanying the inflation rates announced by Statistics Netherlands each year.

The university is already working on a new framework, titled Recognition and Rewards for Student Organisations, which is supposed to review the distribution of a considerable part of the grants for board members.

The student council members believe that this is a "good moment" to adjust the compensation for students on boards. They have started a petition to show the Executive Board that this is something that matters to students. 

On Monday, UU Rector Henk Kummeling stressed in a meeting with a University Council committee that "it is good that this is being brought up", but he warns that adjusting the fee is complex.

The fees for all boards would have to be adjusted at the same time, which would have to be coordinated with the faculties, under which study associations fall. The compensations of the university of applied sciences would have to be adjusted at the same time as well.

Kummeling added that he will meet with the Executive Board of the university of applied sciences and then write a report for the University Council, in which he will reform who will be involved with the change and how long it will take for it to take effect. Only then a decision can be made about a possible raise.