‘Education Minister hinders refugees’ right to education’

‘Education Minister hinders refugees’ right to education’



Dutch Education Minister Dijkgraaf is obstructing the right to education of young people who have lived in the Netherlands without status for many years by suddenly making them pay the fees for foreign students after their final exams in higher education. The Landelijk Ongedocumenteerden Steunpunt (National Undocumented Support Centre, LOS) warns against this.


According to Dijkgraaf, the ordinary, low tuition fees would have ‘a drawing effect’ on the flow of refugees to the Netherlands, especially since there are many English-language studies here. Very disappointing, thinks Rian Ederveen of LOS. “Students without residence permits can simply go to school until they are eighteen. That is a human right. And if they are awaiting a residence permit, for example because they have applied for asylum, they are also allowed to study here.”


Ederveen does not know exactly how many people are involved. “They are very afraid of being ‘discovered’ and deported.” Once they come into the picture, usually through the DreamersNL campaign, they often manage to arrange the low tuition fees. “When we explain the problem, we usually always get a sympathetic response.” But when undocumented young people do not find their way to Dreamers, they often get bogged down in the procedures and study is out of the question for them. “We would like to see these young people rooted in the Netherlands, who often choose Dutch-language studies, allowed to pay the low tuition fee. They are not foreign students.” (HOP, HC)


Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

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