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Dutch higher education wants swift decision on students from Ukraine

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The Dutch government must decide “in the very near future” how much tuition refugee students from Ukraine will have to pay in September, and whether they will be entitled to student financing, say Dutch higher education institutions.

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Dutch universities are being approached by many prospective students from Ukraine who would like to enrol in the institution in the next academic year, which starts in September. Should they be granted a temporary residence permit, as the Dutch parliament has requested in a motion, they would no longer have to pay the so-called institutional tuition fee, which is much higher than the "standard" tuition fee applicable to Dutch and European students. That would also mean they would be eligible for student financing.

Swift decision
Until the cabinet makes a decision, refugees don’t know whether they will be able to afford to study in the Netherlands or not, noted the Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF in the Dutch acronym) in a letter (available in Dutch only, Ed.) to the Dutch Minister of Education, Robbert Dijkgraaf, and the State Secretary of Justice and Security, Eric van den Burg. The letter has been cosigned by all higher education institutions in the country.

“It is therefore important that a decision on the provisions for students with this status be made in the very near future”, they write. “Excessive costs should never be a barrier for refugee students to continue their studies.”

Emergency support
Back in March, UAF and the universities already asked the cabinet for financial support for refugee students. In response, the government quickly made 1 million euros available to finance emergency support for refugee students (and staff) at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences, followed by another 2.3 million euros in early April. Meanwhile, talks on how to handle refugees in Dutch higher education in the upcoming academic year are still ongoing.

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