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Netherlands: student grants to be replaced by loans

Dutch students are about to face a major change in the funding of their higher education. Netherlands’ Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker, has agreed to a bill that would start officially from 1st January 2015 that is aiming at converting student grants into student loans, which means students will need to repay their loans later in life and therefore start their career with a debt. According University World News, this plan will enable the government to free about 1 billion euros, it also says 20% to 30% of this amount will redistributed to students having a family income lower than 46,000€.

Until the end of 2014, students will be able to receive a grant from the government (called Studiefinanciering) with two tiers.

  1. Students living with their parents: €100.25/month.
  2. Students not living with their parents: 279.14€/month.

At the moment, many Dutch students receive the basic grant, as conditions seem easy to reach. Any of the below can entitle a Dutch student to receive the Studiefinanciering.

  • Work 56 hours a month in a registered job
  • If married or have a registered partner from the EU and Switzerland, if they work 56 hours a month with a contract from a Dutch employer
  • If the parent works 56 hours a month with a contract from a Dutch employer (and is resident in the Netherlands)
  • If the student or his/her partner or the parent is an independent entrepreneur and/or freelancer based in the Netherlands, works 56 hours a month.

Currently a student loan (named Collegegeldkrediet) taken in 2014 will have to be repaid within 15 years after graduation, with a start date set to two years after graduation. Any European is technically entitled to subscribe to this study loan.

According to the QS World University Rankings®, the highest ranked Dutch institutions are University of Amsterdam (ranked at 58) and Leiden University (ranked at 74). These universities will both charge €1,906 of tuition fees for a Bachelor’s degree for the 2014/2015.

More information about grants and loans in Netherlands.


L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellowships


There has been a lot of discussion to support more students to study STEM subjects in the UK and Ireland, as a special efforts to support long term economic growth. It is the same with many other countries around the world.

However, how to support women to play a more active role in STEM subjects never seems to be easy.

I used to sit on the Education Committee of the UK National Commission For UNESCO. I recently come across this prestigous international fellowship to women in science. I thought I should do a short blog about it so that people who are interested in it could find out more.

Hope you will find it useful.

Best regards,

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang



2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science

1.      Introduction
The L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science are awards offered by a partnership between L’Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society, to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing their research careers in the UK or Ireland in the fields of the life and physical sciences.

The National Fellowships are offered under the umbrella of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Programme, which has promoted women in scientific research on a global scale since 1998.

Four Fellowships will be awarded in 2014 to outstanding women scientists in the early stages of their career to enable and/or facilitate promising scientific research. The Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university or research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of the life or physical sciences.

The value of each fellowship is £15,000 (equivalent € for candidates in Ireland). The Fellowships are designed to provide flexible support. The prize money can be spent in innovative ways to enable women scientists to pursue and continue their research careers – such as buying equipment, paying for childcare or funding travel costs to an overseas conference.



2.  Who is Eligible?


  • Candidates must be female postdoctoral level researchers who have already been awarded their research doctorate in the fields of life or physical science.
  • Candidates must have no more than 10 years’ active full-time equivalent postdoctoral experience (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry).
  • Candidates must not currently hold a permanent academic post, or have ever held a permanent academic post in the past, or have received, before the start date of the award, the promise of a permanent academic post.
  • Candidates must be undertaking research in the life or physical sciences. Computer science, engineering, mathematics, psychology, science education and social sciences are not eligible for this Fellowship.
  • Candidates must be conducting their research at a UK or Irish university or research institute.
  • Candidates must be a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA), or a Swiss citizen, or have permanent residence status in the UK or Ireland; and must be residing in the UK or Ireland at the time of application.
  • Applications are welcomed from candidates who wish to establish/re-establish themselves after a career break or other period of absence from active research or where the candidate is establishing a research career as a mature entrant or after experience in other fields.



3.     Application and Deadline
We can only accept applications made online. You will need to visit to create an account and complete an application.

Closing date: 14th March 2014 at midnight (BST)




4. Criteria are as follows:
1) Intellectual merit of candidate
· Academic records
· Ability to interpret and communicate research findings
· Evidence of originality, initiative and productivity
· Strong recommendation in reference letters (two requested)

2) Clearly articulated research proposal
· The relevance of the research and its impact
· The originality of the research proposal
· The proposal should be presented in a clear and compelling way

3) How the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s career and/or assist with a successful return to scientific research
· Whether the candidate has made a convincing case for the difference that this fellowship will make to her.



5.  Key Dates
· Applications website will be open from the 1st February – 14th March 2014 (Midnight)
· Reader assessment of applications takes place between 28th March – 8th May 2014
· Jury assessment of applications takes place between 9th May – 29th May 2014
· Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by phone and by email on Friday 30th May 2014
· Assessment day and awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 19th June 2014
2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science Application Terms & Conditions



6. Further Information
For further information, visit or email


HE News Briefs 14.9.11

  • KOREA: After an extensive audit, 43 institutions have lost important funding
  • ENGLAND: Institutions are rethinking the amount they want to charge for tuition fees
  • INTERNATIONAL: According to a new report, collaborative international degrees are on the rise
  • NETHERLANDS: Morning raids at VU Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam
  • UGANDA: Institution shutting down due to lack of funds and staff discontent
    Read more

HE News Brief 12.7.11

by Abby Chau

  • NETHERLANDS: New policy changes to increase completion rates
  • UNITED KINGDOM: University minister seeking international students from Brazil
  • CHILE: Students force the government to invest 4 billion dollars in higher education
  • SOUTH KOREA: Decreasing birthrates will stagger particpation in higher education
    Read more

HE News Brief 17.08.10

by Abby Chau


Here are this week’s news stories:

  • Shanghai Jiaotong just published its 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities and it is causing a bit of a splash. Using the number of professors and alumni who have Nobel prizes and Fields medals as indicators as well as other criteria, the ARWU, according to this report, has Education Ministers from Europe visiting China in the hopes of discussing the rankings. The results has Harvard topping the league table with Stanford following on their heels.
    Full Story: AFP
  • Russian higher education institutions are lamenting the fact that they are severely lagging behind their North American and European counterparts in terms of research and the number of international students. Government officials say that they need to double the amount of educational spending to 24 million dollars in order to compete on the world stage. According to UNESCO, only 3% of the world’s international students study in Russia whereas 20% (in 2007) studied in the US. Officials also say that language barriers also accounts for the lack of Russian-produced research papers one can find in Scopus.
    Full Story: University World News
  • Higher education debt in the UK, according to a new report, is reaching £25,000 with an average yearly debt raising 5.4% to £5,600. In Scotland, costs are sufficiently lower, topping £10,000 in total. In response to this report, Higher Education Minister David Willetts reiterated that the government believes in social mobility and that there is indeed a need for people who benefited from a university degree, to contribute fairly to pay for their education.
    Full Story: eGov
       Read more