Why are tuition fees for EU students so much more expensive next year?

EU students studying at the UG next year will pay about 220 euros more than this year. This is a substantial increase. What happened?

First and foremost, it’s important to know that the university doesn’t determine the tuition fees; the Dutch government does. It’s officially known as the statutory tuition fee, applicable to all students from the European Union, and it’s reassessed every year.

This means that the increase of over 200 euros for the upcoming academic year isn’t due to financial difficulties the UG is facing.

Inflation

For many years, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW) calculated the tuition fee based on the inflation rate of April. Because the inflation in April 2022 was almost ten percent, the ministry decided to base the tuition fee increase for that year on the average inflation between May 2021 and April 2022.

This ensured that the tuition fee for the current academic year didn’t rise as sharply as the actual inflation. A yearly average was also used for the upcoming academic year, but unfortunately for students, the inflation rates between May 2022 and April 2023 have all been exceptionally high. Consequently, there’s still an increase of over 200 euros.

Actual costs

The university isn’t profiting from the tuition fee, then. In fact, the fee paid by European students only covers a small portion of the actual costs.

A spokesperson from the UG’s Corporate Control department explains that the actual costs are closer to the institutional tuition fee. This is the amount that students from outside the EU pay when they come here to study, and it’s determined by the university itself.

‘That amount should, in principle, cover the costs’, he says. Depending on the specific programme, for the upcoming academic year, this ranges between 13,100 and 32,000 euros for a bachelor’s degree and between 18,700 and 32,000 euros for a master’s degree.

Dutch

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