No Dutch study financing for higher studies in the region

POSTED: 07/15/15 11:06 PM



GREAT BAY / THE HAGUE – The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker does not see the need to provide study financing to students from the autonomous countries in the Caribbean who want to pursue higher studies in their own region. This appears from answer Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk provided to the Second Chamber in a reaction to the decision list of the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation (Ipko) that took place in The Hague in May.

At the time, the parliamentary delegations of St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao asked Bussemaker to examine this option.

Plasterk writes to the Second Chamber that each of the countries has its own provisions to support students that are resident of those countries with study financing. “That is fitting, considering the fact that education and social provisions belong to the countries’ autonomous authority. It is therefore up to each of the countries to organize study financing and to determine the level of the provisions relative to their needs and possibilities.”

Plasterk adds that the countries can also determine whether they will support students who study in another country. The Netherlands offers students who qualify for study financing based on the Law Study Financing 2000 the option to use it for following higher education anywhere in the world, the minister points out in his letter to parliament. “Caribbean Netherlands offers students based on the Law Study Financing BES the option of study financing for studies in the Caribbean and the United states. The other countries also offer study financing to students for studying in the region.”

That region, Plasterk wrote, covers North, South and Central America.

“Considering all this, the Netherlands does not see the need to create one system of study financing that services students in all four countries.”

Plasterk notes that schools in the Netherlands will be asked to facilitate Caribbean students who have to go through a selection process and to make it possible to do this from their location in the Caribbean. This includes a language test, “if this is part of the selection process for a specific education.” Plasterk notes that a specific language test for Caribbean students does not exist. In cases where asking for such a test for mastering the Dutch or the English language is permitted, the minister writes, the institutions use a limited number of tests that can also be done in the Caribbean.

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