University degree costs less

20/12/2011 15:00

In 2010, a schooling path ending in a university master’s degree in the Netherlands cost 153 thousand euro. It is the first time that the costs are lower than in the previous year. The costs for the university part of this path have not been so low in ten years. The main reason for this was that the number of university students rose by more than state funding for universities.

First part of path costs more, university costs less

Total spending to educate a person from primary school to a university master’s degree rose from 114 thousand to 154 thousand euro in the period 2000-2009. In 2010 this amount fell to 153 thousand euro.

To reach a master’s degree, a student will have to have completed primary school and secondary school. Some will also have completed higher professional education before entering university. Almost all elements in this preliminary part of the path have become more expensive. The price of a university education fluctuated, however, and has now been decreasing for a few years. The effect of this was so strong in 2010 that for the first time the total education path to a university degree cost less than in the previous year.

Total spending on university master’s degree

Total spending on university master’s degree

Funding rising by less than student numbers

The university part of the path to a master’s degree cost just over 44 thousand euro in 2010. This is the lowest level since 2005. After correction for inflation the costs were even well under the level of 2000.

The main reason for the decrease is that government financing for universities did not rise at the same rate as student enrolment. The total amount of money the government spent on teaching at universities rose by 15 percent in the period 2000-2010, while the number of students rose by 38 percent, from 178 thousand to 246 thousand.

Spending on university teaching to master’s degree

Spending on university teaching to master’s degree

Hugo Elbers