UR | Follow the money
Have you ever received the basic study grant? These days you’re more likely the exception to the rule. The first students who started without the basic study grant are already in their third year and the current fourth years enjoyed it for only three years. Now that some years have passed it’s worth reminiscing of days past. Why did the basic study grant ever get cut and what effect did this have?
In the years preceding 2015 our system of higher education was under an increasing amount of pressure. The budget for education did not grow proportionally so resources had to be found elsewhere. They found them in cancelling the basic study grant system. Opinions were a plenty, but the cancellation of the basic study grant was a fact in the 2015 academic year.
Measures to increase quality, however, cost time and could not be implemented simultaneously with the cut. To prevent doubling the burden on the first generation of ‘social lenders’ the universities invested from their own reserves. The TU/e, for one, invested well, whereas in general this is doubted and debated for the national university system.
After these ‘pre-investments’ there’s now a large sum of money to be made available: the ‘basisbeursgelden’, totaling about 200 million euros a year. The meager 3 million euros share of the TU/e must be invested in quality of education. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example extra investment in basic courses, more and beter major courses or extra excellence programs. But simultaneously this is also the problem. These resources are not meant to catch up with the quality gap left by increasing student numbers – and all related problems – they’re meant to increase quality of education.
Almost four generations have passed where students have had to get a sizeable loan for our higher education. The TU/e is obligated to spend these resources well. The university council is currently invested in finding solution on how we can make this happen. The talks for the 2019 budget are well underway and the university council is highly involved in these negotiations. This is how we make sure your money is well spent.
Yoram Meijaard, member student fraction Groep-één