Tuition fee reduction for International students- COVID-19 online education
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Here are few suggestions or ideas that universities in Netherlands and Ministry of Education can take into account in the situation of COVID-19: (please do read the context part to understand the situation)
1) Most of the resources provided by university (Labs, events, facilities, study spaces, networking, workshops, infrastructure) is closed/restricted and there is a compromise in education as everything is online. Hence, the tuition fee can be reduced from March 2020 till the university reopens all the facilities. The reduced fee can be according to European student fee structure or fee accounting online coaching. (We are just students and no losses can be shifted to us in this crisis)
2) For students whose thesis gets extended for situations like lab access problems, companies cancelling or delaying internships or graduation projects etc, a fee waiver or European student fee structure is suggested. This can be based on the thesis supervisor recommendation whether the student delayed because of these reasons.
3) For students who are paying monthly and have financial issues, A deferment provision of fee can be provided for next few months till the situation gets better.
As everyone knows international student pays huge amounts of fee. There are lot of uncertainties during this COVID-19 situation.
1) There is a lockdown in our home countries affecting the incomes of our parents.
2) Even if money is arranged, transferring internationally in these lockdown situations is very tricky practically. (bank availability)
3) The exchange rates are at an all-time high.
Considering all these situations, when the university is approached, they suggested us to deenroll ourselves if the situation is not favorable and join back when things are fine and they can’t help much. Now this looks like a good option. But it has many problems:
1) Deenrolling means our residence permit will be cancelled and we have to go back to our country immediately. But the international flights to our home country is banned meaning we cannot go back. We have to bear with the living costs if they have alternative visa arrangements till our home country opens airspace which is uncertain (not sure about alternative visa part).
2) Deenrolling also means that when returning back to studies in future, all the procedure has to be started all over like a new student. Getting MVV visa and then coming here to get residence permit, housing etc. This is the most difficult part in starting all over as so much time, money and effort is wasted.
One more option they have given us is that we continue to pay monthly tuition fee to keep the residence permit and start back without much work. This is a huge financial burden on any student.
None of the options are actually favorable for an international student. We are paying huge fee for online education without using much of the university’s resources compared to normal situation. But the universities are expecting us to pay FULL FEE like a normal situation.
Just like we are ready for the online education, universities should also consider these aspects and make considerable changes in fee amount. If no practical solution is given, along with the education stress and being away from family in these critical situations, financial burden adds up to the stress of the students. I hope this message reaches Ministry and they can give us a practical solution for tuition fee.
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