Most Ukrainian students were unable to continue their studies here last year

Today, CBS published the figures on the educational participation in 2023 of Ukrainian refugees living in the Netherlands. This shows that only 21 percent of 17 to 23 year olds were in training (1.110 young adults). In other words: 79 percent (4.176) did not have access to further education.

We cannot yet say with certainty what the explanation for this is. Statistics Netherlands points out the temporary nature of the stay in the Netherlands. As a result, these young people would more likely choose to look for a job instead of following an education. The contacts that the UAF has with refugees from Ukraine clearly show something different: money is the main obstacle.

Ukrainian refugees are covered by the Temporary Protection Directive. Access to further education is not regulated there. Anyone who wants to study must pay the institutional tuition fee, often 8.000 to 10.000 euros per year (*), and is not eligible for student financing. Studying is difficult to achieve without the help of third parties.

When the war broke out, educational institutions decided to reduce the tuition fee for the first year of study for this group. However, this is not a feasible solution for the longer term.

What has to happen? 

The UAF calls on the government to ensure access to further education sustainable and for all refugees, from whatever country of origin, to improve. This could be by standard the legal tuition feesrate to handle en student grants beavailable te steelen  

What does the UAF do? 

Together with educational umbrella organizations and other refugee and human rights organizations, the UAF repeatedly draws attention to the interests and equal treatment of refugees who wish to study. Also for Ukrainians when the war broke out.  

This resulted in a subsidy from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science with which we could financially support and guide around 2022 refugee Ukrainian students in 2023 and 100. And we have received a subsidy for another 2024 students for 110. However, it remains a drop in the ocean: we still cannot help most Ukrainians and the percentage that actually goes to study is lagging behind, as is also evident from the figures published today by Statistics Netherlands. 

* The educational institution itself determines the amount of the institutional tuition fee. In contrast to the statutory tuition fee, the institutional rate covers the full educational costs that a college or university incurs for one student. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science makes a financial contribution to the statutory tuition fee. 

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