Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) will in 2014 extend the pilot in the Caribbean Netherlands for the repayment of student debt accumulated in the Netherlands. Within this pilot former students from Bonaire as well as Saba and St. Eustatius can make use of a local account at the Maduro and Curiel’s Bank (MCB) for repaying their student debt.
Residents of the Caribbean Netherlands who have studied in the European Netherlands and who have a student debt, must normally speaking, incur extra expenses in order to comply with their payment obligations because they have to transfer their payments to a foreign bank account.
In addition they run a risk with exchange rates. Therefore in 2013 a pilot was started where the repayment of study monies was made easier and cheaper. Debtors could transfer money to the account of a local bank without extra transaction costs. The exchange rate will be fixed in January and will apply for the entire calendar year.
Judging from the results of the interim evaluation the pilot seems successful. Former students will save transactions costs and have more clarity regarding payment of the monthly amount (a fixed amount in dollars). Because the payment amount of the former students has improved, DUO is also saving on for example the issuing of payment reminders. A side effect of the pilot is also, that the yield of the refunded study debt is higher.
The pilot can only be evaluated when all receipts for the year 2013 have been processed. This will take place during the course of January. It has now already been decided to extend the pilot until December 2014. At this moment only residents of the Caribbean Netherlands can participate in this pilot. The participants from 2013 have received notice about the extension. Persons, who are currently not participating, will receive a letter inviting them to register for participation in the pilot.
New participants in the pilot can register by sending an email with name, address and correspondence number the latest on January 31st, 2014.
Press release RCN, January24, 2014