I've been making a point of our country cutting student support over and over again for some time now, but I just read Alextreme's Studypoints and Logic Factories and that reminded me of it. He words my feelings about it in a nice way:
Now however we've been reduced to point-hogging passive consumers, having to work one or two days a week in order to stay alive and trying to learn something in between mandatory lectures.
The government is cutting costs, cutting in the support for students, universities and almost every school. They want to be a leader in knowledge-economy, but are wondering why The Netherlands have dropped from a leading position to a mediocre country in that respect. I frankly wouldn't know...
At this moment I'm desperately[?] trying to get my Bachelor. After five years of university education, it's about time. However, because of the restrictions they are laying upon students, I'm just not interested in taking interesting side courses. They would enhance my education greatly [I suppose], but because I Need To Get My Study Done In The Amount Of Years I'm Supposed To(tm), it's not in my general interest to delay any further. I want my Master too, remember. The government already stops supporting you when you're exceeding the amount of years your study is supposed to last, and I'm calculating that I have to pay for two additional years to get my Master myself.
Why the delay? Mainly because of lack of motivation from time to time and because of my job of two full days per week.
I'm glad everybody in this country has some rights for support on higher education [I know in a lot of countries you don't even have this help], but lately this has been hollowed out more and more. Not so long ago I read a surpised report that "over 80% of all students have a job for at least 8 hours per week". Well, I am not surprised. Basic student support [almost 75 EUR/month] doesn't quite cut the monthly costs of the money you have to pay your university and your book store. And then I don't even mention living in the first place.
Until now I've been enjoying living with my parents; it was a time of free food [almost always there when I wanted it], free home and such. Now I'm going to move to a nice apartment together with my girlfriend, and there'll be nothing left of both our student support [including additional loans] and my salary of working two full days a week. Of course that's nothing new to all of you who have a household of their own, but I wonder how students -- who are supposed to _study fulltime_ -- are going to pay the rent for their room in the Big City when they supposedly don't have to work. They aren't, or they won't have a nice student time [with all the beer, parties and such]. And that's a part of your basic education too, weird it may sound.