She would receive 296,000 euros plus an expense allowance of about 1.3 million euros a year. She called that ‘uncomfortable as long as I can’t do much in return and other students have it so much harder’.

Amalia, who graduated cum laude, will not be studying right away, according to her letter. She will take a gap year after the summer holidays. It is not yet known which study she will choose.


The Princess hopes that Rutte understands why she is repaying the ‘benefit’, she wrote. This is indeed not self-evident as Rutte has defended her high income with all his might in the Lower House, just like the low income of students.

Rutte has ‘understanding and appreciation for your personal considerations’, he wrote in a reply letter. “I wish you a beautiful gap year, and all the wisdom you need in choosing a future study.”

The payment to Amalia (1.6 million euros) would be enough to pay tuition fees for 750 students. Next year (with half tuition fees) that would even be 1,500 students, and no less than three thousand first-year students.


With this amount, you could also give a basic grant to 1,228 students. Of course, that is not going to happen. Rutte has informed the Lower House that the money will go back into the ‘general resources’, or the treasury.

There was fierce criticism in the House of Representatives about the high payment to the princess, although a majority agreed to it. The people had little understanding for it: 71 percent of the Dutch population found the allowance too high, a poll from tv programme EenVandaag found.


Read more

‘Soon a committee year will only be for a small elite’

Due to the student loan system and the pressure to achieve, increasingly fewer young…