Starting in September 2023, students will have to pay an annual tuition fee of 2,421 euros – that is, if the government sets the fee in the same way as in previous years, based on inflation.
In late March, with consumer prices surging, HOP predicted a substantial tuition fee hike. But the government always uses April as a benchmark, a month that saw even higher inflation this year: 9.6 percent.
In early April, opposition party Volt asked Minister of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf to freeze tuition fees. The minister refused, however, saying there was insufficient ‘coverage’ for such an intervention.
The motion Volt submitted together with the BoerBurgerBeweging did not receive support from coalition parties VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. This meant that there was no majority for the motion, which was backed by all opposition parties except the SGP.
Incidentally, September 2023 is also when the basic student grant will make its return. The higher tuition fees will immediately swallow up a sizeable chunk of the extra money students are set to receive under the new grant scheme: the increase of 212 euros is roughly equivalent to two months of basic grants for students living at home.
In theory, it would be relatively easy for the government to prevent a rise in tuition fees. It would not require a law change, as the rate is set through an ‘order in council’.