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Preparatory programmes

Students of higher profession education (HBO) who wish to transfer to a university Master's programme are able to take a preparatory programme. This programme enables them to eliminate the knowledge deficit that they have in comparison with university students who have completed a corresponding Bachelor’s programme. University students are able to attend a preparatory programme as well if they want to take a Master’s programme with a specialisation different to the one that they chose for their Bachelor’s programme. Universities are required to offer preparatory programmes, but do not receive any funding from the government for doing so. Since the introduction of the Higher Education (Quality in Diversity) Act (Wet Kwaliteit in verscheidenheid hoger onderwijs), universities are only able to charge one-and-a-half times the amount of the statutory tuition fees for programmes of 60 ECTS upwards. The legislative proposal on student loans (wetsvoorstel Studievoorschot) reduces the amount which students can be charged even further to just once the amount of the statutory tuition fees. In many cases, the fee to be paid does not cover the full cost, which is jeopardising the continued provision of preparatory programmes.