On Wednesday, the Ministers for Education, Ingrid van Engelshoven (tertiary education) and Arie Slob (primary and secondary education), presented a stimulus package for the education and research sector, worth more than €8.5 billion. They hope the stimulus package will go some way towards helping students, academics and higher education institutions who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis.


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One of the aspects of the package that has attracted a great deal of attention is the halving of tuition fees for next academic year for ‘all students’. People were wondering whether the discount would also be granted to international students – particularly to students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

After all, falling behind in their studies can turn out to be costly for the latter group, who do not pay the statutory tuition fee (which is currently set at €2,143 per annum), but rather a university-set tuition fee, which may be up to ten thousand euros more than the statutory fee. Dutch students who are studying for a second bachelor or master degree also pay the university-set tuition fee. They will also receive a thousand-euro discount on next year’s tuition fees.


By now a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education has confirmed that international students, too, will be given a discount on their tuition fees. “They will not get the 50-percent discount, but rather a fixed amount equal to the discount other students have been granted on their statutory tuition fees. In other words, they will be given a discount of about one thousand euros.”

This may come as a bit of a disappointment to students from America, China, or Australia. But who knows – the universities and universities of applied sciences themselves may lend them a helping hand. Last summer, certain universities decided of their own accord to allow final-year students from outside the EEA who had fallen behind in their studies to complete their degrees at a reduced fee.