Students who want to study in a foreign country, may need to apply a lot faster in the future for their study financing. Those who apply too late may not be able to take their study financing with them abroad.

Until recently, students could take their study financing with them abroad if they had lived in The Netherland for at least three out of the last six years. However, the European Court of Justice ruled last summer that this rule indirectly discriminates migration workers. If they work in the Netherlands, their children should be able to receive study financing. Concretely this would mean that Greek students are eligible for study financing if their parents have working in The Netherlands for a couple of months.

A limit to study financing for study abroad

If these children of migration workers all decide to apply for study financing, this may cost the Dutch ministry millions of extra euros. In order to avoid high extra costs, the Minister of Education, Jet Bussemaker, wants the option to set a limit to the amount of students who can receive study financing for a study abroad to a maximum of 9.000 students. This is the same amount of students that is studying this year in a foreign country using study financing.

‘First come, first serve’

While nobody is satisfied with this proposal, Bussemaker has to resolve the issue somehow. In order to not discriminate, applications for using study financing for a study abroad will be assigned using the ‘first come, first serve’ principle. This would mean that Dutch students could be rejected if there are a lot of fast applications by foreign students.

Limit is still being debated

Bussemaker wants to see more Dutch students studying abroad rather than less. Therefore, the maximum may be increased if the amount of Dutch applications increases. However, the Minister of Education does not see a reason to put a maximum for applications in place yet. The bill which has been debated only gives Bussemaker the option to do so, if this were needed. Once this occurs, new debates will follow in the Second Chamber.

More clarity before April 1st

If the Minister of Education decided to put in place the maximum, this will most likely be done before April 1st. This is a logical date for students who want to start their study abroad in September of that same year. This also means that applications for study financing for studying in a foreign country will only start on April 1st. “That is when the counting starts”, says Bussemaker. NdB