17 February 2017 • HOP, by Bas Belleman
ISO opposes extra study fees
Two hundred euros for a mandatory camp, 35 euros for a management game… Research universities and universities of applied sciences continue to charge students extra fees.
And that is unacceptable, states the Dutch National Student Association (ISO). ‘We’ve received dozens of complaints,’ says Chairman Jan Sinnige. ‘The problem has only increased in recent months.’
Students have to pay for their own textbooks and other supplies, of course, but educational institutions may not charge extra for components of their education. In addition, a free alternative should be available.
The ISO will take the matter to court if necessary, together with the National Student Law Office. ‘I’m not naming any names, but some institutions have simply stopped responding when we inform them that this is not legal. That leaves us with no choice but to take legal action against them.’
It’s a matter of principle, says Sinnige, but also the costs themselves. ‘It’s becoming increasingly expensive to get an education. When I first enrolled, tuition was around €1,700. It’s now €2,000. You can’t have students pay more on top of that.’
In 2014, ISO published a ‘blacklist’ of extra costs in education. Minister Bussemaker confirmed at the time that such fees may not be charged. The number of complaints dropped after that, says the ISO, but the educational institutions have forgotten this apparently.