Hundreds of students gathered in Amsterdam’s Dam Square on Saturday to protest a higher basic scholarship. The protest was organized by FNV Young & United and the National Student Union (LSVb). In addition to the higher base scholarship, students also want students who studied under the loan scheme to receive more compensation.
According to the students, the money to be saved for this purpose should not be at the expense of the education budget.
The basic scholarship will return in 2023, after it was rescinded in 2015. Students who studied in the intervening years were subject to a loan scheme. The Council of Ministers has proposed a basic scholarship for non-resident students of €274 per month starting in 2023.
And the crowd, often dressed in red, shouts the slogan “What do we want? Without debts.” Demonstrators carry placards with texts such as “compensation for the unlucky generation” and “I am wearing red.”
The protest was also attended by many politicians. They addressed the students. Laurens Dassen of Volt, for example, said students should be fairly compensated for the “scandal” that has happened to them in recent years. Stefan van Barley of DENK wants to release student debt. “Now we have young people who cannot work on their future because of the corrupt politics.”
The start of the protest in Al Sadd Square. Organizers say between 1,000 and 2,000 people are at the rally. Protesters march across town from Dam Square. Business will be closed again at Dam Square, with music.
Compensation from 1,000 to 2,000 euros for students of the loan system
In February, students also protested against what they see as low compensation for the loan system. This also happened in Amsterdam at the time. Organizers say the demonstration attracted between 6,000 and 7,000 people.
Most of the protesters were young people, although older people also came to the Museum Square in solidarity with the students.
Then LSVb and FNV Young & United calculated that the €1 billion the government had allocated for compensation amounted to €1,000 to €2,000 per person. The unions think that’s too little. “Our generation should not be the victims of the failed government austerity experiment,” the organizations said in February.
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