The UvA and the HvA want to let students pay per course and not per year during the next academic year. The plan from the Dutch National Union of Students (LSVb), and PvdA and VVD should make flexible studying easier.

Governing parties PvdA and VVD and the Dutch National Union of Students (LSVb) do not want to let students pay tuition fees per year, but per course. In the next academic year, the UvA and the HvA will start a pilot scheme in order to promote flexible studying.

On Monday, VVD and PvdA will launch the plan in a debate about higher education. If the idea is carried out, it will become cheaper for students to spend a longer period of time on their studies or to combine their studies with work, an internship or a committee year.

Paying per course

A student who does not wish to attain sixty credits per year can pay tuition fees per course, depending on the number of credits, and will only pay for the courses he attends. With current tuition fees amounting to 1,951 euros, each credit would be worth 32.50 euros. For a course worth six credits you would then pay 195 euros.

Payment per course should be an option in addition to the usual tuition fees. “Of course there will always be students who will still need a fixed study period as full-time student, but there are more and more students who want to arrange their studies in their own way”, says LSVb chairman, Stefan Wirken.

Straitjacket studying

“Learning and working are intertwined in all kinds of ways. We spend our whole lives learning. But the system only recognizes one kind of student: one who studies full-time in one place and who completes his studies after a number of years and goes to work”, write Wirken, Members of the Dutch Second Chamber Pieter Duisenberg (VVD) and Mohammed Mohandis (PvdA) and UvA-HvA-rector Dymph van den Boom in an opinion piece in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant on Monday. “Hanging on to this form of straitjacket studying puts the Netherlands at a disadvantage.”

In the coming academic year, the University and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (UvA-HvA) want to carry out a test among one thousand interested students allowing them to try out flexible studying. If this pilot is successful, paying per course or credit should be made possible for all students.