€8.5 billion to eliminate corona backlog in education

Students pay half of the tuition or tuition fees during the coming year. This is one of the measures taken by the demissionary cabinet because of the delays in education caused by the coronacrisis. This afternoon, the demissionary ministers Van Engelshoven and Slob presented a package of measures for all types of school, ranging from primary education to universities.

All the measures put together will amount to EUR 8.5 billion for the next two and a half years. Of this, 6 billion is for primary, secondary and special education.


Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives asked the government to exempt students from tuition and tuition fees at universities, higher schools and MBO‘s who are delayed in study. So the Cabinet does not go along with that. However, students are allowed to use their public transport card for one more year if they need more time to get their diploma.

Students at universities, HBO and MBO who are at risk of losing their additional scholarship will receive a concession, as well as MBO workers who are at risk of losing their basic scholarship. There will also be more money for mental support.

Free tutoring

The government also wants, among other things, to ensure that students in primary, secondary and special education can receive free tutoring in the summer to help catch up with their knowledge. The administrators also intend to make it easier for schools to support pupils, for example with additional teaching assistants. And secondary schools can bet on broad bridge classes, giving students more time to see if they’re in the right place.

Furthermore, every school is given a lot of freedom to help pupils in a targeted manner, including in the socio-emotional field. For example, they can give tutoring in small groups or collaborate with libraries in the field of reading. Primary schools will receive an average of 180,000 euros per school and an average of 1.3 million secondary schools in the coming academic year. Schools with many students with fewer opportunities receive proportionally more money.

Compensation for colleges

In addition to the 8.5 billion package, Van Engelshoven and Slob permanently allocate EUR 645 million per year to compensate universities and colleges for the arrival of students.

Because many students now do not opt for an intermediate year or a world trip, the student numbers are much larger than usual. With the additional amount, educational institutions can employ more people, reducing the workload.

Unprecedented package

Van Engelshoven and Slob stressed that the current generation of students and students, despite the coronacrisis, deserves all opportunities for full education and a good future.

Even if all educational institutions are open again, a lot has to be done to get the education back on track, said Van Engelshoven. Slob added that the package presented today is unprecedented in nature and scope.