Custom solution for local refugees

Maastricht University aims to help refugees start their lives in the Netherlands by facilitating their access to higher education. To this end, the Executive Board has appointed a project group to identify the possibilities in consultation with Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, the Municipality of Maastricht, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), and the Dutch Council for Refugees (Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland).

Given the fact that the refugee population is much differentiated, and  the temporary nature of refugees’ stay in the asylum centres, UM focuses on tailor-made solutions. The options depend on the refugees' academic backgrounds, personal circumstances, and residency status. After obtaining a residency permit, refugees are required by law learn the Dutch language. The project group is therefore looking at the possible offer of UM in terms of language education. Enrollment in the regular curriculum or the preparatory Foundation Programme will often enter the picture in a later stage,  after successful completion of the integration exams. For practical reasons, this will likely involve refugees who live in the region. Given that many refugees have already completed higher education in their home countries, possibilities for offering work experience positions and coaching opportunities will also be explored.

UM will appoint a contact person who, in collaboration with Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, COA and the Dutch Council for Refugees, will serve as a type ofacademic advisor for refugees.

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