This academic year, KU Leuven has sharply increased tuition fees for foreign students. In front of 10 directions are increased funds for students from outside the European Economic Area (HONOUR) come. In front of 4 Masters is a boost for everyone.
Why the rise in tuition fees are unjust
Foreign students must always lay more substantial sums. For example, students should Bioinformatics 6000 pay euro. That is seven times more than last year. One Erasmus Mundus Master hangs then a price tag 9000 euro . The reason? "The education of international students simply requires more effort, recruitment and reception on arrival to support during the study process. Registration fees can be seen as a kind of compensation for that. ", said Pieter Lievens, Vice Rector for International Policy.
It is good that the university wants to invest more in guidance. But many students sole purpose 828 up to 8028 euro to pay extra little credibility. Also at the Institute of Philosophy, where triple all English tuition fees, We hear the same story. "We want to be an approachable as faculty point where we may refer to more serious complaints. We are thinking to ask the staff person partially free to coach his students. " , gives Gerd Van Riel, Dean of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, as explanation.
They want students so 2578 euro to charge extra for a student coach, moreover does not actually provide professional psychosocial counseling. That while the KULeuven offers all individual psychiatric sessions but 18 euro, entirely independent of the faculties. 
Another common argument is that non-EEA students pay the approved low-income countries, the standard registration fee.  That list does not include 30 Nations, leaving only 500 of the 5090 Non-EEA students receive compensation. In front of 4614 Students from accredited agent low-income countries, the increase in tuition fees so just by . under the 4614 also includes students from Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Palestine, Congo, Ivory Coast ... The argument that students from poorer or dangerous regions also get a chance, does not stand.
Besides the higher tuition fees are not the only savings in higher education. Thus increasing the prices of the ALMA meals each year. Furthermore, the university purchased KotNet, former Internet service for students in digs out, and replaced it with a more expensive subscription Telenet. Or the so-called "rationalization" which still expressed two years ago at the end of the training Slavic. In addition, every year there are killed or boxes, being replaced by a smaller number of inter-faculty courses of lower quality.
A test case scenario
We should not see these increases as an isolated case. So the general subscription monies are 2014 already significantly increased. This was accompanied by a lot of resistance of all students in the Flemish university towns, who managed to reduce the surcharge.
also VOKA (Flemish network of companies, Flemish employers' organization) already called in May for an increase in tuition fees and the abolition of the inpuntfinanciering.8VOKA also won for profitable, privatized universities: "In higher education can be done more with less public money. There may be efficiency gains to be achieved for example by working better together, Students orient faster and rationalize more. In addition, the proportion of private funding must be raised. " 9
But even before the VOKA proposal and was rector Luc Sels, he left in 2015 all that he had won an increase in the registration fee: I have no problem with a limited increase in the registration fee, while we at the same time do something for the beursstudenten.'10
Hilde Crevits, Minister of Education has said that she appreciates the proposals VOKA. She indicates that there should be given to funding. "We have to see whether the balance between input- and output financing still true, but there is no final proposal .. "11
These statements from all sides threaten accessible education. The savings programs for foreign students also are waiting for the Belgian students. A weak opposition to the current measures will only motivation for the rectors and politicians to launch a general increase.
An elitist vision of education and internationalization
Rector Luc Sels often talks about the internationalization and called univeristy rankings. He wants to own say tightening international ambitions. But what he means for internationalization than? Which and how many students he aims than?
"We are committed to working with institutions which we can learn. We want to set the bar high in our internationalization policy and the selection of partners more looking upwards, and not only to beneden.'12
The rector is very proud of the current partnerships with universities such as UCL ( University College of London) en The University of Hong Kong, but it should be higher. What is not mentioned here, that the tuition fees of these colleges vary between 10 000 and the 50 000 per year.13 There are a fair number of these schools fully privatized. Is that the future of the KULeuven for international students, or for all students tout court?
International exchange should be about discovering another culture, explore the world and get a broader perspective. As in service education exists to serve society, to make young people develop, distribute knowledge and to form critical citizens who devise solutions to society. But when one looks at the way in which fabrics will push our university, it is clear that education is intended only for the wealthiest layer of the population.
Therefore, we make our best now ready to fight for a democratic education, by taking action against increases in tuition fees for foreign students. And why not, for example calling for a refinancing of higher education to 2% of GDP, as in the 70s was the case? The future direction of our education will depend on the student movement.
7 https://www.kuleuven.be/prodstudinfo/index/50000050.html, consulted 24 October
8 Universities now have in the first year financing by credits taken / students (input) and only the second year covered by credit / graduate students (output).
10 The newspapaer 23 september 2015