Bursaries may return in January

The University Council may be able to accept bursary students again as of January, according the council chairman Sibrand Poppema.

The RUG has stopped its bursary system because the tax service says they have to: the system is in conflict with existing Dutch financial law. But the RUG has high hopes for a plan proposed by education minister Jet Bussemaker to let universities experiment with PhD students. University Council Chairman Sibrand Poppema expects that the RUG can resume the bursary system in January.

‘The text of the implementation of the law is finalized. We can comment on it at the moment. Later on it will be presented to the House of Representatives. Now, it is a matter of whether that will happen before or after the summer. We probably won’t be able to get started with the experiment in September, but possibly in January’, he said during the University Council meeting.

‘We will definitely take part’

The plans of the education minister had been shelved for the past year and a half after the Council of State criticized the proposal. The RUG immediately spoke up and said they are adamant about participaing in the experiment. ‘We will definitely take part. We, as well as nearly all other Dutch universities, think that there has to be regulation for bursaries. Bursaries are here, they come here from many different countries, and there has to be regulation of their status.’

The experiment proposed by Bussemaker will take place over six years.