Little enthusiasm for ‘polder-imam course’

Little enthusiasm for ‘polder-imam course’



Is a funded imam training programme in higher education viable? The government had it researched, but universities and universities of applied sciences are not eager to offer the course. The research stems from two Parliamentary motions from 2015. The government was to ensure that “additional and thorough” training for imams would be provided. Otherwise, the dependence on foreign imams would become too great.


In 2019, the Free University of Amsterdam drew up an outline for a new higher vocational education bachelor’s programme to become an imam. The independent Islamic Theological Faculty Amsterdam is trying to get a similar course accredited. And the Islamic University of Rotterdam already has one, but that university of applied sciences has been controversial for years because of insulting and discriminatory statements made by its rector.


All in all, it is not certain whether there will be enough students “to guarantee the financial sustainability of the programme”. For a fully funded and accredited programme, a development budget of approximately 2.5 million euros is needed, they estimate. The new imam programme can be offered by any funded higher education institution. But “none of the institutions (surveyed) is prepared to take the lead in implementing the training”, the researchers say, although “they are all open to cooperation”. (HOP, JvE)



HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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