In 2019, over 85 percent of students had a side job, earning them an average of 550 euros a month. It remains to be seen what effect the coronavirus pandemic will have on these figures, but it’s safe to say that, until recently, it was normal for students to supplement their income by working part-time.

Students are also earning more from their labours, Statistics Netherlands has found. On average, a 19-year-old student now makes 16 percent more from their side job than they did eight years ago. This is partly down to the fact that they work longer hours, according to Statistics Netherlands, but the increase in the youth minimum wage also plays a role.

700 euros a month

At the same time, students have been increasingly relying on loans from DUO since the basic student grant was scrapped in 2015. Nearly 70 percent of all students had a loan in 2019, for an average of 700 euros a month.

Statistics Netherlands has now compared the borrowing of 18-year-old students over the years. Of those born in 1992 or 1993, who enrolled in higher education well before the introduction of the current loan system, only 1 in 5 had a loan. Today, this figure has risen to 3 in 5.

Higher monthly amounts

On top of that, the current generation of 18-year-olds also borrows “substantially” more: an average of 510 euros per month compared to 310 euros for the previous generation. According to Statistics Netherlands, it is clear that the total amount of student debt is increasing rapidly.

From the answers Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven gave to parliamentary questions last month, it could already be inferred that total student debt is expected to rise from 15.8 to 33 billion euros as a result of the new loan system. By the end of their studies, students who take out loans from DUO will have amassed an average of 25,000 euros in debt.