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Foto: Daniël Rommens

Student Council suspects international students overpaid tuition fees

29 april 2024 - 11:30

Thousands of UvA students, especially international students, may have overpaid tuition, Het Parool reports. The Central Student Council (CSR) is said to have therefore withdrawn its trust in the Executive Board (BoG). According to the CSR, the Board is doing too little to compensate the affected students.

This mainly concerns international students from outside the European Economic Area, who already pay higher tuition (the institutional fee varies per program), according to the newspaper. Tuition increases annually in line with inflation, but the UvA has regulations stating that student tuition is not allowed to increase during the first four years of study. However, the affected students would have been paying more each year, the CSR says.
Five million
CSR president Noah Pellikaan tells Het Parool that possibly “5,000 students” are affected. They would have overpaid an average of €1,000, which would amount to a possible total of five million. About 20 students have come forward to the CSR to complain, Pellikaan says. He says in the newspaper that the Council has been in talks with the university since November, “But with no result. This is not a subjective or political issue, but administrative bungling.”

The UvA is surprised by the CSR’s allegations

CSR Opinion
The UvA is surprised by the CSR’s allegations. A spokesperson for the CvB says by e-mail that the CSR itself proposed to the CvB last February that the increase in institutional tuition for current students be capped at five percent, according to a February 23rd letter from the CRS to the CvB. “The UvA agreed to this on their advice,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson did say that if it turns out that students have overpaid tuition, they will be refunded. “But corrections must be made manually and carefully. The Central Student Administration is working hard to do this as quickly as possible, and to ensure that ultimately every student pays the institutional tuition appropriate to their program. We also informed the CSR of this two weeks ago.”
Term of office nearly over
The BoE is unlikely to resign over the issue, as the CSR wants. In addition, the CSR may well withdraw confidence in this BoM, and its chairperson - Geert ten Dam - is leaving in a month anyway. Also, the mandate of the current CSR (and faculty-student councils) expires soon, after which the council’s term of office is effectively over. Today’s controversy puts a spotlight on the work and views of the CSR, which gives a boost to student participation two weeks before the student council elections, for which voter turnout is traditionally low to very low. Current CSR president Noah Pellikaan is participating again, but no longer on behalf of the Activist Party. “I won’t say on behalf of which party yet, but I’m low on the list because after two years, I’ve made my contribution to student participation.”