About the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF

Supporting refugee students since 1948
The UAF is the oldest refugee organization in the Netherlands. The Foundation was set up in 1948 by the Dutch Universities as the University Asylum Fund to support Czech students who fled to the Netherlands after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Ever since, the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF has supported refugees in their studies and in finding suitable employment.


The first UAF students (1948)

What we do  
UAF supports refugees with grants and loans, so that they can attend  a course of higher education. These funds are intended only for tuition fees, language courses, books, a computer, travelling expenses and other costs related to their studies.

UAF advises refugees on their choice of study and guides them during their studies and when they apply for jobs. In the initial phase, UAF helps them while they learn the language and develop learning skills. UAF organizes training courses and networking meetings for refugees who are studying and those who have graduated.

Results in 2015

  • UAF supported 2.593 refugees
  • 170 students graduated
  • 150 students got an apprenticeship or trainee placement
  • 27 students toke up a volunteer opportunity
  • 207 students found a job
  • 4 students started as entrepreneurs

This is our mission

The mission of the UAF is expressed in Article 2 of the Statutes. ‘Invoking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF aims to provide the necessary material and moral assistance to higher educated refugees from all parts of the world, who, owing to a well-founded fear of persecution, have left their countries, and who have shown to have sufficient abilities, with the objective to let them continue and successfully finish their studies in the Netherlands, and to help them find a place in the labour market that matches their education as well as giving information with regard to the above mentioned target groups and activities.’

Advocating for rights of refugee students

UAF promotes the interests of asylum seekers and refugees with a higher education. Our aim is to influence the policy of local and national government on matters that are important for this target group. We are also involved in public dialogue and seek properly targeted media exposure.