Dutch government threatened with lawsuit over student loan hikes

EPA-EFE//REMKO DE WAAL

A student sleeping at the University of Amsterdam during a protest in February 2015.

Dutch government threatened with lawsuit over student loan hikes


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Student organisations in The Netherlands are planning litigation against the government if plans to hike student loan interest rates materialise.

The government wants to link the interest rate on student loans to ten-year sovereign bond yields, which campaigners project could cost the average student €5,500 over a 35-year period. The Dutch government scrapped student grants in 2015, pledged to redeploy these resources in education, which critics suggest never materialised.

In addition, the government vowed to provide a cluster of measures to shield students from debt. Among other things, the Dutch government suggests that lenders need to be instructed not to take into account student debt when risk-assessing graduates for a mortgage.

Dutch unions ISO and LSR say the Netherlands is bound by international law to work towards making higher education free of charge.

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