Resettlement of refugees

Every year UAF supports around 60 refugees who are resettled to the Netherlands in the project ´Resettlement´. We enable them to enroll into higher education and find work according to their skills and capacities.

Whom are we talking about?
Some refugees cannot go home or are unwilling to do so because they will face continued persecution. Many are also living in dangerous situations or have specific needs that cannot be addressed in the country where they have sought protection. They can neither rebuild their lives nor return to their countries of origin.

In such circumstances, UNHCR helps resettle refugees in a third country as the only safe and viable durable solution. The Netherlands has been part of the resettlement programme since 1977. Every year up to 500 refugees are resettled in the Netherlands.

Addis Tesfa was a journalist in Ethiopia. In 2011, he came to the Netherlands through the resettlement program. >> Read his story in our brochure on resettlement (PDF).  Photo: Marcel van Kammen

What do we offer them?
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) proposes refugees to the UAF in advance of their arrival to the Netherlands. This allows for better planning and organization of the delivery of education guidance services, language training and education courses upon arrival.

About 7 percent of the refugees the UAF assists are resettled refugees. We offer them advice and guidance regarding the preparation of their studies, during their studies and in finding jobs. Are you a resettled refugee yourself and are you interested in UAF support? >> Read more on what we do for refugee students.

Additional to the usual assistance, resettled refugees are enrolled in a mentoring program between the refugees and (former) Dutch students. This program further facilitates resettled refugees’ reception and integration process. A mentor can be a Dutch student, a working Dutch citizen or another refugee student.

Mentors can show the refugee around at the University and help by starting up their lives in the Netherlands by becoming acquainted with the Dutch labour market and help building up a network.

VU University offers a preparatory year

The preparatory year of the VU University offers a programme for refugees who want to continue their studies in the Netherlands.

'Refugees. Who needs them?'

UAF has contributed to the film 'Refugees. Who needs them?', a documentary about five resettled refugees who try to integrate in Dutch society.


In March 2012 the UAF support programs for resettled refugees were evaluated. >> Download the summary of the evaluation

In the summer of 2013 the mentoring program was evaluated. >> Download the summary of the evaluation

Cooperating with others

Assistance for resettled refugees has been implemented in close cooperation with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Dutch Council for Refugees. Previous projects were funded with the help of the European Refugee Fund (Dutch national program).