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NL: 8.5 billion euros for Nationaal Programma Onderwijs

Rijksoverheid is of the opinion that the current generation of pupils and students, despite the corona crisis, deserves every opportunity for a full education and a good future. That is why the Kabinet has decided on a Nationaal Programma Onderwijs (National Programme for Education). For this, a total of 8.5 billion euro is invested. In addition, 645 million euros will be structurally invested to compensate for the higher number of students. The programme is aimed at the recovery and development of education, at making up for delays and compensating for them, and at supporting all those in education who are experiencing difficulties.

Minister Van Engelshoven:

"Just imagine you are a student now. Waiting for your internship, to graduate or gazing at your fellow students you hardly know from your student room. This causes stress, loneliness, concentration problems and pressure among students. With this national programme, we support them as much as possible. With financial support and more intensive guidance, we reduce the pressure that students feel."

Minister Slob:

"With this national programme we are doing everything possible to give the youngest generations in our country the same opportunities as the generations that went to school without the pandemic. That is why we are going to look very specifically at what each pupil needs in order to alleviate the pain of this pandemic as much as possible. I would like to say to all pupils: the country may have been on lockdown last year, but with this national programme we will keep your future open.

From the coming school year, every primary and secondary school will receive money to help pupils in a very targeted way, also in the social-emotional field. Teachers help determine how this money is used. They can choose from proven effective measures such as targeted tutoring in small groups or cooperation with libraries in the area of reading. The approximately 6,600 primary schools will receive an average of €180,000 per school for this purpose next school year. For the 650 secondary schools, this amounts to an average of over 1.3 million euro per school. Schools with many pupils with fewer opportunities receive proportionally more money.

In addition, Rijksoverheid is asking primary and secondary schools to provide help and free tutoring to pupils who want and need it this summer. Another possibility is to use the extra means for broad bridging classes, such as VMBO/HAVO. This would give pupils more time to find the place where they would be most at home. Each student in the first year of secondary education will be assessed to see whether they is in the right place. There will also be renewed investment in more subject teachers, teaching assistants and other educational support staff in order to lighten the workload of teachers.

Everyone who studies at a tertiary level next year will receive a 50% discount on their tuition fees. This gives students financial breathing space in these difficult times, in which many students have also lost their secondary jobs. In addition, students who are in danger of losing their basic grant (MBO) and supplementary grant (MBO and further) will receive compensation. The student travel product will be extended by a maximum of 12 months for students in higher education if it appears that they need more time to get their degree/diploma. The subsidy for apprenticeships in intermediate vocational education will be increased, which will make it more profitable for companies to retain the professionals of the future, even in these economically difficult times, in the interest of both students and companies. Besides this financial support, there will also be extra money for mental support through more study and student counselling for personal development and study progress.

Universities and colleges have to deal with an enormous influx of students who do not opt for a gap year or a trip around the world because of corona. As of next year, the educational institutions will be fully compensated for this and structurally with an amount of 645 million euro. This extra money, which will be made available in addition to the 8.5 billion, must ensure that more people can be employed and that the pressure of work decreases.

An investment of 162 million euro for researchers will ensure that 20,000 employment contracts of young scientists, of whom it was uncertain whether they could stay, can be extended. This provides certainty. They can complete their important research and continue to teach.

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