Reimbursement of study grants paid out two years ago to be reviewed
Share article:
Share article:

Reimbursement of study grants paid out two years ago to be reviewed

© Belga

The system of study grants will be reviewed following the shock by hundreds of students asked to reimburse scholarships they had received but no longer had a right to, the Minister for Higher Education in the Brussels-Wallonia Federation, Valérie Glatigny (MR) confirmed on Tuesday.

“Yes, the system needs to be reviewed,” the minister admitted in response to queries from many parliamentarians on the issue. “The rules need to be clarified and better information needs to be given beforehand to the students,” she said.

To this end, a working group has been formed by the minister to study and formulate proposals for reviewing the criteria for providing students with financing. The group includes representatives of students, academic institutions, the FWB administration and the minister’s cabinet, Glatigny explained.

The minister blamed the difficulties experienced on reforms including the modification of the student evaluation system, the extension of the registration period to late October and the possibility of reorientation up to February. As a result of the lengthening of these timelines, students’ eligibility for financing could only be verified after the fact, long after they received their study grants.

A total of 843 students were asked to reimburse their stipends, totalling €989,822, for the 2017-2018 academic year, Glatigny said, with individual students owing between €409 and €4,966. Thus far the students concerned have paid back just under €75,000.

The minister explained that all students had been given the possibility of repaying their grants in instalments. “To this day there has been no repressive measure by the administration,” she said.

Following the debate on the measure in the commission on Tuesday, an opposition party (cdH) filed a motion calling for the criteria governing eligibility for financing to be examined more quickly in future and for the grant application procedure to be reviewed.

For its part, the opposition labour party (PTB) introduced another motion calling for the current reimbursements to be waived.

The motions will be put to the vote at a plenary session on Wednesday.

The PS-MR-Ecolo (socialst and green) majority in the region’s Parliament immediately filed a motion of order to reject the two texts.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...
Belgian ‘Space Bakery’ project highlighted at World Expo in Dubai
The Puratos Space Bakery project is taking centre stage at the Belgian pavilion in Dubai, where the World Expo is taking place. This week is ...
Brussels metro lines disrupted by strike action
Four of the Brussels metro lines (M1, M2, M5, and M6) are delayed on Wednesday morning following union strikes commencing at 09 AM. The Brussels ...
Arrival of Dutch company will double the number of rental mopeds in Brussels
The arrival of 500 new e-mopeds from Dutch rental company GO Sharing will double the amount of rental mopeds in Brussels. While sometimes also ...
More than 1,300 Covid-19 patients in Belgian hospitals
More than 1,300 people are in hospital as a result of coronavirus infections, as the number of new cases continues to rise in Belgium. Between ...
Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...