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Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Funding

All government-funded universities and HBO institutions (hogescholen) receive block funding. They are then free to decide how to use this money to meet their personnel, equipment and accommodation costs.

Universities and HBO institutions receive these funds for the provision of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes, research (universities), design and development (HBO institutions), and for research or cooperation programmes with university hospitals. All recipient institutions must be accredited, i.e. assessed and approved, by the Netherlands-Flanders Accreditation Organisation (NVAO).

The higher education budget is fixed every year by the government. The funding for universities and HBO institutions is set out in the Implementation Decree 2008 (Higher Education and Research Act). In addition, institutions receive tuition fees from enrolled students.

HBO institutions and universities often receive private funding from businesses or non-profit research institutions.

Government funding is only provided for universities and HBO institutions listed in the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW). Non-listed institutions that wish to be considered for government funding can apply to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

HBO and university degree programmes are legally recognised after assessment and approval by the NVAO.

Funding of teaching at universities and HBO institutions

The grant received by institutions for teaching activities is calculated chiefly on the basis of:

• the number of EEA students progressing with their studies at the standard rate
• the number of EEA students awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees
• an institution-specific sum.

Research funding for universities and HBO institutions

The government also provides universities and HBO institutions with research funding. For universities, the size of the grant is largely allocated on the basis of the number of degrees awarded, including PhDs.

The central government grant is not the only funding source for universities and HBO institutions. They also receive support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), local and international authorities, and non-profit organisations.

Government funding for university medical centres

Through the universities, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science also funds teaching and research at the country’s eight university hospitals which, in combination with the faculties of medicine, constitute the university medical centres. Students of medicine study and acquire practical experience here.

Performance agreements with universities and HBO institutions

The government wants the allocation of the teaching budget to be linked to the performance of HBO institutions and universities. To this end, performance agreements have been made with individual institutions and funding is allocated accordingly.

In order to achieve the strategic agenda’s aims, the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science concluded individual performance agreements with all higher professional education (HBO) institutions and universities at the end of September 2012. Performance agreements have been made with all funded universities of applied sciences and academic universities on improving quality and student success rates, promoting institutional profiling and greater differentiation of teaching programs, and strengthening valorisation. Each institution indicates how it intends to improve its own completion rates and quality of teaching. HBO institutions and universities should market themselves with a profile that reflects their strengths. One HBO institution may focus on associate degrees, for instance, while another may aim to make its courses more appealing to VWO pupils. In order to become world leaders in their fields, universities must make choices about the type of research they conduct. Research should also respond more effectively to the needs of the business community and to major societal challenges such as security and demographic ageing.

The conclusion of performance agreements and the actual achievement of the performance goals set have financial consequences for the institutions. The funding model will be adapted accordingly. More than 7% of educational funding is earmarked for ‘quality and profile’. A framework for the performance agreements is laid down in the agreements (only in Dutch available) concluded with the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) and the Council for Higher Professional Education (agreements only in Dutch available).
 

Financial Autonomy and Control

Autonomy

All higher education institutions are free to decide how they use the funds allocated to them to meet their personnel, equipment and accommodation costs.

Control and supervision

The supervision of higher education is regulated by the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW) and the Education Inspection Act (WOT). All higher education institutions that receive government funding have to compile an annual report in which they account for their financial and other policies and inform the government about their education performance. The requirements to be met by annual reports are listed in the Guidelines for Annual Reports in Education.

The Education Inspectorate monitors the activities of school accountants, and describes the financial situation of the various education sectors in its annual Education Report.

Compliance with legislation

The Inspectorate monitors compliance with legislation by higher education institutions. The focus is on:

• teaching;
• supplying information about programmes of study;
• applying the admission requirements for new students;
• setting examinations;
• issuing certificates.

Its methods include investigating compliance with a specific aspect of legislation or carrying out spot checks at individual institutions, for example if reports of non-compliance have been received.

The Inspectorate investigates how governing boards and supervisory councils ensure detailed compliance with the relevant legislation. It also conducts studies on particular aspects of higher education, including at the Minister’s request.

Fees within Public Higher Education

Students in higher education pay tuition fees to the institution. At government-funded universities and HBO institutions, the fees are fixed for certain categories of student and are statutory or non-statutory, depending on the situation.

Every year, the government fixes the level of the statutory fees applicable to all higher education institutions. Individual universities and HBO institutions are free to set their own non-statutory fees, which may not be lower than the level of the statutory fees except in the case of joint degrees.

The statutory fee applies to students who:

• meet the nationality requirement, i.e. are nationals of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), Suriname or Switzerland, or are family members of EU citizens residing in the Netherlands, or hold a residence permit entitling them to student finance; and
• are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree programme and at the start of the academic year have not yet obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree; or are enrolled in a master’s degree programme and at the start of the academic year have not yet obtained their master’s degree; and
• are enrolled in a government-funded course at a university or institution of higher professional education.

If a student ceases to meet the residential/nationality requirements during the year, the institution may charge fees of its own.

The statutory fee also applies to:

• students who, after graduating, wish to obtain a second bachelor’s or master’s degree in either health care or education, and whose first degree is not in one of these fields. To establish what qualifies as a healthcare or education programme, potential students can consult the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes (CROHO);
• students who have not yet obtained their bachelor’s or master’s degree and who start a second course while still doing their first course.

Students who do not meet these requirements pay non-statutory fees. These apply to full-time and part-time courses and dual courses combining work and study. Non-statutory fees may vary from one institution, course or student category to another. The Ministry issues no guidelines.

Tuition fee amounts

The following statutory tuition fees are charged for:

a. full-time courses:
• €1,835 for the 2013/2014 academic year
• €1,906 for the 2014/2015 academic year

b. part-time courses or dual courses combining work and study:
• €1,049 to €1,835 for the 2013/2014 academic year. Fees are set by the institutions;
• €1,099 to €1,906 for the 2014/2015 academic year. Fees are set by the institutions.

Tuition fee loans

Students must pay tuition fees to the institution they study at. If they need to, they can apply for a tuition fee loan in addition to regular student finance. This is a monthly loan equivalent to the amount of the tuition fees.

 

Financial Support for Learners' Families

Parents and guardians of higher education students are not eligible for financial assistance.

 

Financial Support for Learners

Under the current system, higher education students are eligible for student finance, provided they are under 30 when they begin their studies and attending a full-time course at a university or HBO institution.

Student finance consists of four elements: a basic grant, a supplementary grant, a public transport pass and an interest-bearing loan. All students are eligible for the basic grant and public transport pass. The supplementary grant and interest-bearing loan have to be applied for separately. The basic grant and supplementary grant are performance-related grants, initially paid out in the form of a loan which becomes non-repayable if the student graduates within ten years. Students are entitled to a grant for the standard length of their course only. Students who fail to graduate have to repay all the finance they have received, with the exception of the first five months of the supplementary grant.

For most programmes of study, students are entitled to four years of student finance. After this, loans are available for another three years and the travel pass for another twelve months. Student finance is available over a maximum period of ten years for Dutch nationals and non-Dutch nationals with a type II, III or IV residence permit. Students who hold a different type of residence permit or are EU nationals may in some cases be eligible for student finance.
Source: http://www.duo.nl/particulieren/student-hbo-of-universiteit/studiefinanciering/weten-hoe-het-werkt.asp

Portable financial assistance for study abroad

Since 1 September 2007 students eligible for Dutch student finance who want to pursue all or part of their studies abroad have been able to apply for financial assistance. This gives them maximum freedom to pick the course of their choice. However, all courses abroad must meet Dutch quality standards. The requirements are monitored by Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for international cooperation in higher education. Students do not need to be registered at a Dutch higher education institution in order to be eligible for a grant. However, irrespective of the nationality they hold, they must have been legally resident in the Netherlands for at least three of the six years prior to commencing their studies. This requirement does not apply to migrant workers or their children.

Student finance is currently undergoing reform. For details of the government’s plans in this area, see chapter 14.3.

Higher education institutions have been given special funds with which to make financial provision for students whose progress has been delayed due to circumstances beyond their control or exceptional personal circumstances (course completion funds).

The figure below shows the number of higher education students receiving student finance. The statistics distinguish between students in the ‘standard phase’ (eligible for the basic grant, student travel pass, a loan and, under certain conditions, a supplementary grant) and those in the ‘loan phase’ (eligible for only the student travel pass and a loan).

Number of higher education students receiving student finance the Netherlands.jpg

Source: Trends in Beeld (only in Dutch available)

Fully Private Education

There are two types of recognised higher education institutions in the Netherlands: those funded by the government, which are listed in the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW), and recognised fully private institutions that do not receive government funding. To be recognised, fully privately-funded higher education institutions need to be approved by the Education Inspectorate and the Netherlands-Flanders Accreditation Organisation (NVAO). The certificates they award to graduates are equivalent to those awarded by publicly-funded institutions.

The quality of individual higher education courses is monitored through the accreditation system, which is managed by the Netherlands-Flanders Accreditation Organisation (NVAO). Only courses approved and accredited by the NVAO are eligible for recognition and qualify for government funding. The Education Inspectorate monitors the functioning of the accreditation system as a whole. All legally recognised courses at universities and HBO institutions are listed in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes (CROHO).

Not being funded by government, fully private institutions are completely dependent on third-party contributions, including from students and their families. This means tuition fees are usually higher than at publicly-funded institutions. Fees vary from one institution to another. The boards of higher education institutions are free to decide how this income is spent.

Experimenting with an open system for higher education

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is currently experimenting with an open system for higher education, allowing fully privately-funded institutions to fund courses temporarily from government grants under the same conditions as publicly-funded institutions. The experiment is open to private institutions such as the distance-learning institutions LOI and NTI, which would not normally be eligible for central government funding

The purpose of the experiment is to investigate the effects of an open system on the quality and accessibility of higher education. A total of 18 educational institutions are involved. The study will continue until 2015 to enable long-term effects to be identified, such as those related to the labour market.