Are the plans of the loan system worth a big student debt?

Five years ago, the basic scholarship disappeared, in exchange for a billion-dollar investment in better education. Educational institutions were able to submit plans to claim money from an investment spot of 2.3 billion euros. Many of these plans are now public, so CCEit takes stock on 3: what does it say – and what do student associations think and their politics?

Institutions want to invest in more teachers, better online education and more student psychologists. And between the plans submitted there are also quite specific proposals. Colleges invest in thousands of extra power outlets, teachers receive English courses and students at one university have sustainable sandwiches in the school canteen thanks to the loan system money.

In the video below, CCEit shows up on 3 the plans of the educational institutions:

The big question is: are these plans really worth the greater student debt?

Student associations are left with mixed feelings. โ€œWe think it is positive that investments are being made in mental health, because many students experience mental problems, loneliness and performance pressures,โ€ says Lyle Muns of the National Student Union.

It also appears that teacher shortages are being supplemented by money from the loan system. One in five educational institutions indicate in their plans that by hiring more teachers, they want to keep up with the growing numbers of students and thus keep the classes small.

โ€œ Those deficits should not be replenished with the money from the loan system,โ€ says Quinta van Kelle of the Interurban Student Consultation. Student associations like to see even more money go to teachers to compensate for the rising student numbers of recent years.

GreenLeft MP Westerveld responds: โ€œWe find it regrettable that higher education has been shortened in the interim, which means that institutions now need the loan system money to absorb student growth. In our view, the present cabinet violates the agreements made when the loan system was introduced.โ€


was then agreed that the money from the loan system should go towards a visible improvement in the quality of education. SP MP Frank Futselaar: โ€œTechnically speaking, counteracting the decline in quality is also improving quality. But thats not the deal,โ€ says Frank Futselaar of the SP.

Education minister Van Engelshoven says to CCEit on 3 that without the loan system money there would have been even less money for teachers. โ€œIf you hadnt made that investment, the teacher-student ratio would have deteriorated. Lets be real: this is just a lot of money invested in the quality of education.โ€

Find out who invests in what

NOS on 3 searched from (almost) all educational institutions where they want to invest the loan system money in. Quite a job. Sometimes the plans can hardly be found – and often quite woolly written down. In the tool below, all plans are summarised more concretely and can be looked up by educational institution or study:

Student associations also indicate that it is already quite difficult for them to find out where the loan system money is going. โ€œIf we already have this as involved students, this is especially true for individual students,โ€ says Van Kelle of the Interurban Student Consultation.

PVV MP Harm Beertema wonders: was the loan money intended for this, or should schools have invested in it already? โ€œExtra sockets have to be in order for a long time and it is no longer reasonable for teachers to make sure they are in English.โ€

Minister Van Engelshoven points out that students and teachers in the participation have agreed to the plans. โ€œThey will be tested independently and I will see if the process has gone through properly.โ€ The ISO concluded earlier that this is indeed going pretty well.

However, the Minister can imagine that students sometimes have reservations about certain plans. โ€œTo these students I would like to say: contact the students in the participation and ask why they agreed to this.โ€