Higher basic grant but first-year tuition fees set to double

Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf wants to make some changes to the amounts for the grant and tuition fees.
Studentenprotest Protest against student loans. Photo Dutchmen Photography/Shutterstock

The basic grant will be slightly higher and students will qualify more easily for a supplementary grant. However, the tuition fees for first-year students are set to increase by a factor of two.

The proposed legislation for the reform of the student financing system was published online last Friday for a public consultation via internet. Anyone can now post a comment before the bill is submitted officially.

Dijkgraaf has already discussed his plans with Parliament and he has made some minor changes to his original proposal. The grant amounts have gone up by nearly 20 euros per month to 273.90 euros for students in rented accommodation and 109.90 euros for students living at home (as opposed to 255 euros and 91 euros respectively).

Students will also qualify for a partial supplementary grant if their parents earn less than 70,000 euros per year. The cabinet previously wanted to set the limit at 53,900 euros. That increased limit will benefit an estimated 50,000 students.

The smaller the parental income, the larger the supplementary grant, up to a maximum of 401.34 euros if the student’s parents earn less than 34,600 euros.

 Proposed legislationLoan systemOld basic grant system (2022 prices)
Basic grant, living away€273.90€0€312.52
Basic grant, living at home€109.90€0€112.25
Maximum supplementary grant€401.34€419.04€299.28 (living away) €275.86 (living at home)
Loan, living away€257.63€513.83€321.07
Loan, living at home€257.63€513.83€321.07
Maximum, living away932.87€932.87€932.87
Maximum, living at home768.87€932.87709.18
Parental income for maximum supplementary grant€34,600 or less€34,600 or less€34,600 or less
Parental income for minimum supplementary grant€70,000€53,900€48,400 (living away) €47,300 (living at home)


The cabinet wants to fund all these positive changes by doubling the tuition fees paid by first-year students (and second-year students in teacher training). In 2018 a measure was introduced whereby they only had to pay half the standard tuition fees but that measure will be scrapped, saving 170 million euros per annum.

This proposal came from the coalition parties CDA and D66. Their motion was carried by the Lower House of Parliament with a comfortable majority, despite resistance from five opposition parties: PvdA, SP, GroenLinks, PvdD and DENK.

The current statutory tuition fee is over 2200 euros, so abolishing the 50 per cent discount will cost first-year students about 1100 euros. Students in teacher training, who also got the discount in their second year, will now be paying twice that much in extra tuition fees.


The new student financing system will take effect from September 2023. Incidentally, the basic and supplementary grants will only be non-repayable if the student gets their degree within 10 years. Anyone who fails to graduate will have to repay the lot.

The proposed legislation also specifies the compensation for students who missed out on the basic grant in the past few years. That compensation is capped at one billion euros.

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