Utrecht, 28 September 2018
The township of Utrecht is doubling the individual study allowance for students with a disability to 200 euros a month starting January 1st, 2019. This allowance is meant for students who have high financial costs because of their disability and who are being obstructed in earning their livelihood. This announcement was made by the township of Utrecht. VIDIUS student union is happy with the first steps in the right direction for students with a disability.
Every year thousands of students start their studies at one of the educational institutions, including students with a disability. Because of the introduction of the educational loan system the costs for education can be high, causing a lot of students to have no option but to work as well as study. However, students with a disability are not or to a lesser degree able to do this. Besides, they often have higher healthcare costs and the chances of study delay are higher. Because of this they spend more on their studies, putting them at a financial disadvantage compared to the average student.
“Accessibility of education is one of the core values for VIDIUS”, says Tijn Tas, chairman of VIDIUS. “One's financial situation should never be the reason for making them unable to pursue education.” The increase of the individual study allowance for students with a disability helps those who need this financial support, lessening the financial obastacles for this group. These changes in Utrecht are the first step in the right direction for students with a disability.
However, the amount of study allowance a student can receive differs sharply between townships, because the height of the study allowance is set by each individual township. The study allowance in Zwolle, for example, is 310 euros a month, which is the maximum amount a township is allowed to offer. Although the raise of the amount of study allowance is a nice first step in Utrecht, VIDIUS is still not satisfied. Also, students with a disability should be able to study freely without any obstructions. That is why VIDIUS is arguing to raise the amount of study allowance even further. This way, the needs of students with a disability can be provided even better.