A scholarship from the University Fund: from a dream to reality

Lillianne Evertsz was a student at a Dutch university of applied sciences (hbo) when the opportunity arose to further her studies at university with her propaedeutic diploma. She enrolled in the Global Studies program but reconsidered due to the high tuition fees. Then, a relieving email arrived, informing her about scholarships at Maastricht University. Could she be eligible for such a scholarship?

And indeed, two months later, confirmation arrived: Lillianne was awarded a first-generation scholarship from the University Fund Limburg (UFL). "I've known since I was little that I wanted to study, and that dream is now a reality. My parents are from the Antilles, where the quality of higher education is lower. Thanks to the scholarship, I can now do what my parents never could."

Much more than just a scholarship

With the financial support of the scholarship, Lillianne could not only enroll in her dream program but also gain the opportunity to live independently and invest in essential study resources, such as a new laptop. Things that would otherwise not have been straightforward, or would have required her to spend all her free hours working. Thanks to the scholarship, she could, for example, move out and take a big step towards independent living.

With passion, she speaks about her ambitions and the opportunities she now has, thanks to UFL's support: "It sounds very simple, 'a study scholarship', but this offers me many opportunities, personally and professionally." Next year, alongside her studies, she would like to pursue a BBL childcare course, something that wouldn't have been possible without the scholarship. When Lillianne completes her studies, she hopes to pursue a master's in journalism. "And then, for example, working for MTV or the radio, that appeals to me."

First-generation bursary makes dreams come true

Lillianne was eligible for a so-called first-generation scholarship, for students who are the first in their family to attend university. In 2023, a total of 9 students benefited from this scholarship. The scholarships are part of a wide range of (fundraising) activities by the UFL, aimed at making university education more accessible to a diverse audience.

"It sounds very simple, 'a scholarship', but this offers me many opportunities, personally and professionally."
Lillianne Evertsz

Being a scholarship student is nothing to be ashamed of

Lillianne, a first-generation student with Antillean roots, always dreamed of studying at university. This dream remained out of reach for her parents, but thanks to a scholarship from the University Fund, it became a reality for her. She is grateful for this opportunity: "I have developed tremendously as a person over the past year, even if it's just because I consciously take the train from Kerkrade every day for my studies. I don't just go to school 'for the diploma', but because I really want this and am really learning something."

Her message to other students who are hesitant about applying for a scholarship is clear and encouraging: "Yes, I think you have to decide that for yourself... but it has really been worth it for me!". Lillianne is proud to be a scholarship student and hopes that her story will inspire other students to seize the opportunities offered by a UFL scholarship.

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