Dutch Government Puts Hold on Student Grant Reform
Written on Saturday, 25 March 2017 02:52

Dutch Education minister Jet Bussemaker confirmed yesterday that she will revise her plans to replace student grants with loans and has confirmed the new system will not come into effect in 2014 [as she had hoped] but in 2015.The cabinet does not have majority support for the plans in the upper house of parliament and the minister has agreed to rethink her proposals. Free public transport for students will also now continue until 2017, the minister said.

EUNiCAS has been advised that if you start university under the current finance arrangements you can continue under these arrangements until you graduate, in the event of the reformed arrangements being introduced during your programme.

Under current rules, Full-time students, if they are EU citizens, are entitled to the following financial support in the Netherlands: 1. a Tuition Fee Loan 2.a Basic Grant 3. a Supplementary Grant and 4. a Top Up Loan. Your entitlement to items 2-4 [but not your entitlement to a Tuition Fee Loan] are dependent upon you working 56 hours a month [this is the equivalent to two or three evening shifts, a week, working in a restaurant]. Entitlement to the Supplementary Grant is calculated with reference to family income.

Please contact EUNiCAS at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like our Information Sheet containing our Guidelines to Student Finance in the Netherlands.


University of Groningen, one of seven Dutch Universities in the World's Top 100 Universities

 
More Study in Europe Seminars Coming Up
Written on Saturday, 25 March 2017 02:52

Come and take part in our popular Study in Europe seminar, at a city near you. Forthcoming seminars are being offered in:

Belfast 13th September Methodist College
Dublin 18th-20th September Higher Options, RDS
London 3rd October Global Study Exhibition, Olympia
Manchester 12th October The Student World, Event City
London 13th October The Student World, Emirates Stadium
Cork 15th/16th October Cork Options, Rochestown Park

Please check with us for further details and for other events we have lined up in additional cities.

In addition to exploring the many opportunities open to you, and how studying abroad adds to your employability, we will also look at the nitty gritty stuff such as entry procedures and financial matters.

EUNiCAS also has a stand at all of these events, so that you can talk to us on a 1:1 basis.

We look froward to meeting you soon


 
Bulgarian Tuition Fee Loans Now Open To UK/Irish Students
Written on Saturday, 25 March 2017 02:52

Bulgarian Universities have confirmed to EUNiCAS that EU students, under the age of 35, can access the Bulgarian Tuition Fee Loan system.There are three banks in Bulgaria that have been authorised by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education to offer student loans.

Through this system, EUNiCAS is advised that students who have enrolled on a programme at a Bulgarian University can apply for a loan, to cover tuition fees, directly from one of these authorised banks. Apparently, it takes less than a week after the student presents the required documents for loan approval to come through. On approval, the bank transfers the tuition fee into the bank account of the relevant university. Note that annual interest rate on this loan is 7%.

It is important to note that EUNiCAS has not been in touch with any UK/Irish student in receipt of this loan but this could be because they haven’t been aware of them. EUNICAS would appreciate hearing from any UK/Irish student who has availed of this opportunity.

There are increasing numbers of UK and Irish students applying to Bulgarian universities [Medical University of Varna, Medical University of Sofia and Medical University of Pleven] to study Medicine and Dentistry. Though fees of Eur8000 pa are lower than in most other Eastern European countries, they are still beyond the means of many students. This facility could open up opportunities otherwise closed to this group of students.

Below: the city of Varna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
French Universities Threatened by English Language
Written on Saturday, 25 March 2017 02:52

 

The French newspaper Le Figaro reported this week that many French academics [but by no means all] and other champions of the French language are feeling threatened by a new measure, included in the Higher Education and Research [HSR] statute, that will open the way for universities to teach entire programmes through English. The HSR is due to come into force later this year.

Under legislation passed in 2000 to protect the French language, it is currently compulsory to teach university courses in French except in clearly defined cases – foreign language studies, or if the education is given by a visiting foreign academic. Examinations and thesis presentations must be in French. Some institutions manage to circumvent the rules, but they are technically breaking the law. Geneviève Fioraso, minister for higher education and research, now intends to loosen universities’ linguistic shackles.

In the hope of increasing France’s share of international students, the HSR law will allow universities to teach in in English – when courses are part of an agreement with a foreign or international institution, or part of a European programme. Fioraso said that opposition to the reform was about “a resistance to change. To attract young Indians we must offer education in English. For Koreans to get to Proust, we must go via English."

Above: Sciences Po: one of the only French Universities to currently offer an entire undergraduate programme though English

The Académie Française, constitutional guardian of the French language, issued a declaration against the “attack on the status of the French language in universities”. It wished to “draw attention to the dangers of a measure which is presented as a technical application, while in reality it promotes marginalisation of our language”.

In an opinion piece, Le Figaro claimed the new measure “was insulting to French-speaking countries and Francophiles, and especially the numerous francophone students who wished to study in France but could not because of its restrictive visa policy. Le Fiagaro also claimed it was “anti-republican because it attacked the constitutional principle that French was the language of the republic, and it was anti-democratic because it would inevitably lead to closure of certain courses in French, thus penalising French and other French-speaking students”

 


 
Half of Doctors Fail HPAT Test For Entry To Irish Medical Schools
Written on Saturday, 25 March 2017 02:52

The Sunday Times reported this week that almost half of the Irish GPs surveyed failed to answer  sample questions from an HPAT paper accurately.

The study, published in the Irish Medical Journal, also found that three out of four Irish GPs have little or no knowledge of the test. The newspaper quoted UCC's  Dr Siun O’Flynn, who led the study, as saying “the profession should be aware of the mechanism used to select their colleagues”

Also quoted was Dublin GP, Julie Bressan, who dismissed the HPAT as “absolute nonsense” She commented that it had been hoped that the test “would help choose more men than women. But if women are cleverer then men, then so be it, because you need clever doctors”

This survey follows a recent report from a review team of experts in medical education on the first three years of the HPAT  which revealed that many students who secured 550 Leaving Cert points or thereabouts, and had insufficient HPAT scores, accepted places in courses such as biomedical science, while attending intensive repeat courses for the HPAT. More than 85 per cent of those who repeat the exam secure a higher score on their second attempt. Many of these deserted their alternative course at the end of their first year, to take up a place in Medicine, in Ireland or further afield

The message from the report is that the HPAT system has failed. It does not, as its promoters claimed, identify the best potential doctors. Instead, it has produced a new system with the same old problem, namely, those who can afford expensive preparatory and repeat courses retain a significant advantage.

 

 


 
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