The three integration routes

Highly educated refugees

Most highly educated refugees follow the Education route (Onderwijsroute) or the B1-route. You can change your route only once. If you want to switch from the B1 route to the Education route, you must do so within 18 months. You can switch from the Education route to the B1-route at any time. After completing your route, you can start studying or working at your level. Keep reading for more information about the Education route and the B1-route


Education route

The purpose of the Education route is to progress to a full-time study programme at the intermediate vocational level (MBO 2, 3 or 4), the higher vocational level (HBO) or the university level (WO). During the Education route you will follow a preparatory year called a taalschakeltraject in DutchDuring this route you will learn Dutch to B2 level and prepare you for continued education. You will be expected to pass the courses you will need for further education. You will also learn important study and presentation skills. If this language course is too difficult, you can scale down to the B1 -route and take exams at the A2 language level. In this case, you will not be able to transition to a study programme at the intermediate vocational level (MBO 2) or higher.

The UAF and the Education route

The UAF does not offer civic integration courses. You can, however, choose to take our study modules during the Education route. These are offered alongside the services provided by the municipality. Our goal is to offer custom solutions to give highly educated refugees the best possible academic start. The UAF offers three modules during the Education route: mentoring, study preparation, study start.


The goal of the B1-route is to learn the language at the B1 level or higher and to prepare for entering the labour market. The UAF finds it important that you learn at the level that suits your ambitions. In order to work at a high level in the Netherlands, it’s important for you to master the Dutch language at the B2 level. This level is required for studying and working.

In addition to helping you learn the language, the B1-route offers the following options:

  • Passing courses required for continued education. For example: you obtained a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in your home country. In this case, you do not have to complete a full ’taalschakeltraject’ in the Education route. Instead, you can focus on the courses you need to continue your education. If you completed the required courses during the B1-route, you can progress to a bachelor’s programme or a master’s programme. 
  • A work placement programme in healthcare, engineering or education: you will spend the first six months learning the specialist terminology and mastering work-specific skills. You will then intern or work at a company. See the work-study programmes the UAF offers in collaboration with municipalities, academic institutes and employers: Work-study programmes 
  • Additional programmes that combine work and study. 
  • You can also take a UAF module, if there is sufficient funding from the municipality or the UAF. Examples include: 
    • Mentoring 

    • Specialist terminology 

    • Study preparation 

    • Work-study programme 

    • Career support 

    • Medical assessment 

Ask your contact person at the municipality about the options. 


The goal of the Z-route is to participate in Dutch society. The Z-route is for people that have difficulties learning the Dutch language and will not reach B1 level within 3 years. In the Z-route you learn the Dutch language to the best of your ability. Moreover, you will participate in activities and conduct volunteer work to participate in Dutch society. Are you highly educated? Then the B1-route or Onderwijsroute is more suitable for you.