The election programme of NSC, which is high in the polls, was a long time in the making. It was published more than a month later than the programmes of almost all of the other parties.

Many of the programme’s main points had already been revealed by MP Omtzigt. In an amendment he submitted this week, he proposed to reduce the tax advantage for highly-educated expats. The millions of euros this would save could then be used to decrease the interest on loans incurred by students belonging to the ‘bad luck generation’.

In the programme, it says that the interest should remain ‘very low’ for them and that NSC is looking for additional ways of compensating them. The party doesn’t say anything about the interest other students (and former students) have to pay.

Study-related migration

Omtzigt wants to drastically curb the Dutch migration rate, from 224 thousand in 2022 to around fifty thousand per year. An important part of this would be to limit the number of international students, which is known to be one of Omtzigt’s favoured topics. The party’s manifesto also says that the interests of the Dutch economy, the labour market and the availability of sufficient student housing should be ‘stronger guiding principles’ in the admissions policy. “This could be differentiated according to region and sector.”

Moreover, if Dutch once again becomes the language of instruction in higher education, NSC believes fewer international students will want to come to our country. Exceptions remain possible for certain study programmes. But: “Also in those exceptional cases Dutch will be given a place in the curriculum, so students can start being part of Dutch society too”.

No student financing

The European rules that dictate that EU students with a small job on the side can immediately get student financing are also due for a change, according to NSC. This is expected to make quite a difference when it comes to intake, as is raising the institutional tuition fees for students from outside Europe.

NSC thinks the desire to attract as many students (both international and domestic) as possible is directly related to the funding of higher education institutions based on student numbers. This is why the party wants ‘a partial switch to capacity funding‘.

Vocational education should be a full-fledged alternative to academia. “This means a smooth transition should be in place between prevocational and secondary vocational education (mbo), as well as between mbo, senior general secondary education or pre-university education and higher professional education and professional practice.”

Affordable rooms

The party is concerned about student housing shortages and therefore supports regions with plans for ‘affordable living on campus’. Abuse of the points system for room rentals, ‘resulting in sky-high rental fees’, must be prevented. It should be made easier to force a landlord to lower the rent if they aren’t complying with the points system.


NSC wants a ‘substantial budget for fundamental scientific research and knowledge valorisation’. Therefore, the party is in favour of ‘strengthening direct government funding (‘sector funds’) for universities, and the starting grants that enable young researchers to expand their own lines of research’. Particularly knowledge areas such as photonics, quantum technology, artificial intelligence, and climate and medical technology merit greater support.

The party says it’s ‘unacceptable that we have many professors who specialise in profit tax, but don’t have a single chair on the future of the social allowance system’. This is why there should be more research focused on relevant Dutch policy issues. The programme doesn’t make clear how NSC wants to go about this.


More attention should be paid to scientific integrity, the party’s manifesto reads. “Researchers must be completely transparent when chairs are funded by companies or a foreign power”.

Studenten over hun studieschuld die stijgt_samir Abdullayev

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