11 March 2019

First graduates double degree law programme UM and University of Aruba

The first students of the double degree programme in International and European Tax law received their diploma. By successfully completing this one-year master’s programme, the nine graduates simultaneously acquired the Master of Laws in International and European Tax Law from Maastricht University (UM) and Master of Laws in Aruban Law from the University of Aruba. The graduation ceremony took place last December at the University of Aruba in presence of programme director Prof. Anouk Bollen from UM and Aruba’s Prime Minister Mrs.mr. Evelyn Wever-Croes.

During the programme, the students focused on international and European tax law and international tax planning, with particular reference to the connection between Europe and the Americas.

Prof. Anouk Bollen: “This double degree programme is unique in that it combines three pillars: international tax law, European tax law and (Latin-)American tax law. The courses really focus on topics that are specifically relevant for the Caribbean area, and combine legal and economic approaches with policy and practice. We provide students with a rich, international academic experience that allows them to pursue future careers in Aruba, the Caribbean region, Latin America and beyond. In fact, some of our graduates have already received job offers. Given the extent and needs of the Latin American labour market, we expect to educate many students to become highly qualified tax specialists in the years to come.”

One of the graduates that has already found a job is Thayisa Farro: “I received news that I’d graduated two months ago”, she said at the graduation, “and one month later I already got a job.” She is positive about different aspects of the study programme, such as the opportunity to attend master classes from tax judges and managing directors of tax authorities and go on company visits, linking theory and practice to each other. And having obtained two diplomas, one from the Netherlands and one from Aruba, she considers international possibilities of working abroad as a big plus.

During the graduation ceremony, Prof. Bollen handed over the first copy of the book 'Corporate taxation in the Dutch Caribbean and Latin American region: BES islands, Aruba, Curaçao, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela' to Prime Minister of Aruba, Mrs.mr. Evelyn Wever-Croes. The book was specifically written for the double degree programme and now forms one of the pillars on which the programme is based.

Prime Minister Wever-Croes: “We have just started the path to tax reform in Aruba. In order to evaluate which system is best to adopt, it’s important to look at what other countries and regions are doing, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or make the same mistakes. This book forms a very important tool.”

The book is available online.

For more information on the programme and application, visit the double degree programme website.