Part-time students studying for a two-year Master’s degree at the Rotterdam School of Management are currently charged a total fee of €33,750 for the honour of doing so. This is much more than the legally allowed tuition fee, the Minister for Education, Ingrid van Engelshoven, stated last week in a letter to the Lower House.
Since the degree in question is government-funded, the tuition fee is not allowed to exceed the statutory tuition fee, which is capped at €2,060 per year. Van Engelshoven has pointed out as much to the university and has also notified the Education Inspectorate, which already had its eye on the Rotterdam-based university.
“We have charged an additional fee for this degree for years now, on top of the statutory tuition fee,” a university spokesman said in response to questions. “However, legislation has changed a bit over the years. So we will have a good look at how the cost structure relates to current legislation. What is allowed, and what isn’t? We intend to get to the bottom of that. And then we’ll see how we respond to that.”
The part-time degree is geared towards people who work in addition to getting a degree – in other words, people who have a job, and therefore an income. “It’s a small-scale Master’s degree, with many types of support and additional services such as evening lectures,” says the university’s spokesperson. Hence the additional fee, which also includes all the books the students are required to read and an overseas study trip.
The university hopes to complete the investigation and decide on the fee level accordingly as soon as possible, but the spokesperson was unable to tell us whether this will be done by the end of the month. He indicated that he was unwilling to go into the potential consequences of the analysis.