The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has ended its investigation into VU University Amsterdam (VU) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Both universities have stated they will not coordinate tuition fees for a second college degree with one another nor with other Dutch universities, unless when joint programs are concerned. The NMa decided to accept this offer, and has therefore ended its investigation. Chris Fonteijn, Chairman of the NMa, reacts: ‘I believe it’s positive that we have solved this matter swiftly and efficiently this way.’
In its investigation, the NMa came across potential antitrust concerns, and it informed both universities of its findings. In response, the universities indicated they wished to take measures to take away these concerns. In addition, they commited themselves to inform the NMa in the years ahead about how they determine tuition levels.
Since the 2010-2011 academic year, students must pay the so-called institutional tuition fee if they wish to pursue a second college degree after already completing a first degree. The statutory tuition fee does not apply to this category of students. Universities enjoy more freedom to determine the level of the institutional tuition fee themselves. At most universities, institutional tuition fees are often considerably higher than the statutory tuition fee.