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Summer vacation

This is the last U-blad before the summer vacation. The firstissue after the vacation will appear on 31 August. All of us in theU-blad office wish our readers a sunny and enjoyable vacation.

Student refugees

'Student or Cleaner', a report by Utrecht law student SanderTerphuis, has caused a breakthrough in the government's studentrefugee policy. The April report has prompted the drafting ofstatutory regulations to safeguard the rights of student refugees.Sander is himself a refugee from Iran, and the Ministry for SocialAffairs and Employment has involved him personally in thepreparation of the new bill. Sander's research was done for theScience Shop and was commissioned by UAF, the Foundation forStudent Refugees. His conclusion is that refugees with degrees inmedicine or law more often than not have to work as cleaners orwelders because there is no clear policy about student refugees.UAF wants to allow student refugees to continue their studies here,while retaining full welfare benefits. These refugees often holddegrees from their country of origin, which are not recognized inthe Netherlands. Often they need only take a few additional coursesin order to obtain a valid degree. In Utrecht, 206 refugees studywith financial support from UAF: 95 are university undergraduatesand 111 study at the Utrecht College of Higher Education.

Medical doctors.

The government is examining the benefits and drawbacks of quotasfor medical studies, writes Minister for Economic Affairs AnnemarieJorritsma in a letter to Parliament. The quotas for certain fieldsof study, including general medicine, veterinary medicine anddentistry are based on projections for the future labor market.However, such projections must be wrong because fewer graduates arebeing produced than are required for the future. The shortage ofdoctors is the result of an aging population, a retirementexplosion in the medical profession and the desire of young doctorsto work part-time. The government wants to remove as many of theobstacles to young doctors as possible. In a recent interview,Health Minister Els Borst said everybody who wants to studymedicine should be given the opportunity.