The fine for studying too long will disappear after all. Students who have paid already will be reimbursed. Such is the promise of Mark Rutte and Diederik Samsom, the two party leaders currently engaged in talks how to form a new government.

Leading parties VVD and PvdA came to a partial agreement, including the decision to abolish the fine, effectively since the instant it was installed. Fines that had already been paid will be reimbursed in full by beginning of 2013 the latest, but in general as quickly as possible. Reimbursing the fine will cost about 250 million euros.

A social study loan system

There is no mention yet of the dreaded alternative, a social study loan system. Both, the VVD and the PvdA are advocates of abolishing study financing. If it were, and a loan system would replace it, students on average would incur 13 thousand euros additional costs.

Student organizations relieved

Student organizations are relieved by the partial agreement. The Inter-city Student Council (Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg, ISO), the National Student Union (Landelijke Studenten Vakbond, LSVb), and the National Chamber for Fraternities and Sororities (Landelijke Kamer van Verenigingen, LKkV) state in a press release they are pleased that the fine has been retracted. Karlijn Ligtenberg, vice chair of the LSVb: “We are pleased that the government realizes the fine would not work. It is good and proper that students who already paid will be compensated.” TF