22 May 2017 • HOP, by Jesse Haenen
Substantially more refugees enrolling in higher education
Increasingly more refugees are becoming students in higher and senior secondary vocational education. The Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF) received 2,100 applications last year: 50% more than in 2015.
The UAF helps refugees select a degree programme and find work and also provides them with financial support. Of the 2,100 who applied in 2016, a little less than half received support. Two-thirds of the applicants had come from Syria. Others came from Iran, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
Not everyone who receives assistance can enrol in a school straightaway. Of the more than 2,400 students the UAF was assisting last year, the category with the highest number (1,113) was still being prepared for enrolling in a degree programme. To do this, they were learning Dutch and taking other preparatory subjects.
Of the actual students (912), 30% were enrolled at a university, 46% at a university of applied sciences, and 24% were senior secondary vocational education students. Favourite degree programmes included information technology, technology and the exact sciences, health and welfare, and economics. A third category encompassed 437 graduates that the UAF assisted towards finding work.
It is estimated that a third of all highly educated refugees in the Netherlands ask the UAF for assistance. The foundation wants to accept 1,500 new students in 2017 and again in 2018.