No maternity leave (yet) for students
Pregnant students from secondary vocational education (mbo) have been entitled to maternity leave since this academic year, but there is no such statutory provision for students from universities and universities of applied sciences.Why not, wonder the Lower House parties of PvdA and SP. For the time being, Minister of higher education Dijkgraaf sees no reason to enshrine maternity leave in law for students. There are other regulations that these students can rely on, he believes.
That is indeed stated in a special guide (in Dutch) for pregnant students and studying parents. For example, they can get a postponement of the binding recommendation on the continuation of studies and their study credits can remain valid longer. They can also appeal for financial support from the so-called ‘profileringsfonds’ in case their studies are delayed.
However, universities and universities of applied sciences are responsible for such arrangements. “As a result, the provisions differ from one educational institution to another”, says the guide.
According to Dijkgraaf, the student counsellors appear to be well aware of the possibilities, while few students come to them for such matters. But he is not dismissing the idea just yet, because at the request of the Lower House, civil servants are studying the advantages and disadvantages of maternity leave and other parental rights for students in higher education. That ‘exploration’ has not yet been completed. (HOP, BB)