Student Loan Demo
On February 5th, 2022, students from all over the country came to the Museumplein in Amsterdam to demand higher compensation for those who studied under the so-called 'leenstelsel' system - effectively a loan that needs to be paid back over 35 years, starting from two years after the end of their studies.
The government is allocating money for the students, but in the eyes of the demonstrators it is far too little.
The student loan system came into effect in 2015. Before that time, students received a basic grant; a few hundred euros per month, which in most cases did not have to be repaid. This basic grant will return from 2023. According to government plans, the students of the loan generation will be compensated with a total amount of 1 billion euros.
The National Student Union (LSVb) and FNV Young & United have calculated that this 1 billion euros equates to a compensation of 1000 to 2000 euros per person. “As far as we are concerned, that amount is too low,” LSVb chairman Ama Boahene previously explained in Het Parool. “With that amount you can't even pay tuition fees for two years. And that while students sometimes have tens of thousands of euros in debt.”
According to the LSVb chairman, there is now a relatively small group of students who are making a false start because of 'acting in The Hague'. “Some students continued to live at home, did not go on an exchange or did not take a board year for fear of high debt. While these things are part of your development.”
Boahene thinks the turnout on Saturday is 'great'. “I just heard that there are over 8,000 people. We are here because we want fair compensation. I also have a student loan, about 15,000 euros. I am very concerned about that.”
Organizers say 8,000 people turned out for the demonstration.