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HomeHigher EducationNetherlands: Int’l college students handled as “second class residents”

Netherlands: Int’l college students handled as “second class residents”


The Annual Worldwide Scholar Survey, arrange and performed by Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (the Dutch Nationwide Scholar Affiliation), discovered that worldwide college students weren’t being given sufficient details about life within the Netherlands earlier than arriving, and never helped sufficient by establishments and authorities after arrival. 

“The ‘second-class’ place of worldwide college students is attributable to a number of components; their psychological well-being, poor info provision on medical health insurance, the difficulties constructing a reference to Dutch college students and extra,” Terri van der Velden, president of ISO, informed The PIE Information.

Throughout the report, college students responding from 27 totally different establishments within the Netherlands answered questions on key factors together with psychological well being, the Dutch healthcare system, insurance coverage and housing. 

Most college students charge the data given to them by their very own establishments as constructive, however some elements of the Dutch authorities’s system for residing within the Netherlands is what’s inflicting issues amongst abroad college students. 

“Lots of authorities info and repair is in Dutch solely”

“It is extremely tough as a world to orientate your self for the primary few months – a variety of authorities info and repair is in Dutch solely or in very poor incomprehensible English, making processes reminiscent of buying a BSN [national security ID number] nearly unimaginable… and unimaginable to make a GP registration,” one scholar mentioned of their response. 

One other additionally concurred that there was not sufficient “particular details about how the GP system works”. 

When it comes to getting the right insurance coverage for his or her time within the Netherlands, nearly 70% of respondents to the survey mentioned it “wasn’t clear whether or not” they have been required to be insured or not. One respondent mentioned they acquired a €450 fantastic as a result of they weren’t informed they’d the incorrect insurance coverage.

As well as, nearly 70% of the group requested weren’t conscious {that a} Dutch scholar mortgage is on the market to worldwide college students, in addition to a public transportation low cost – however provided that you’re employed greater than 56 hours in a month.

Some 38% of respondents mentioned they’d a part-time job throughout their research, however not many have been the full-degree bachelor college students that make up nearly 60% of the group – given how onerous it’s, the report states, to maintain up with a job throughout full-time research.

One other issue discovered within the survey, and maybe essentially the most urgent for all college students, each home and worldwide within the Netherlands, is discovering housing. 

The Netherlands is at the moment struggling a heavy housing disaster, that has grown so extreme that the federal government is at the moment contemplating stopping giving asylum seekers residency permits till they’ll discover housing, which is mostly briefly provide.

“That is true for each Dutch and non-Dutch college students. The Netherlands as a complete has been going through a housing disaster for a number of years now. Sadly, scammers do benefit from this,” van der Velden mentioned. 

One respondent’s expertise listed within the survey mentioned it was “tough for us [internationals] as a result of there are lots of scams and so they most likely goal worldwide college students”, whereas one other mentioned it’s tough “once you don’t have a job; there’s excessive demand; too many scammers on-line and total a really disturbing interval”. 

Moreover, over 85% of respondents weren’t conscious of someplace they might go for authorized assist when such a scenario arises.

When it comes to psychological well being, nearly all of worldwide college students surveyed mentioned they undergo from psychological well being issues – and greater than 1 / 4 don’t really feel at dwelling within the Netherlands. 

“Repeatedly it’s confirmed how dangerous the state of scholar welfare is. These figures present that worldwide college students aren’t any exception – it’s distressing to see that we’re unable to make this group really feel at dwelling,” mentioned Van der Velden.

One encouraging discovering was that college students overwhelmingly say that they felt secure whereas finding out within the nation, with many responding to the query about security and journey time with “very constructive”. 

“We have been actually glad that this report didn’t solely present negatives about finding out and residing within the Netherlands. This reveals that even whereas finding out within the Netherlands has a variety of difficulties, it’s nonetheless price it in different methods to those college students. Though we have no idea if this outweighs the negatives for many college students,” van der Velden commented. 

ISO says that funding in entry to psychological well being take care of worldwide college students ought to be checked out, and each establishments and policymakers ought to be ensuring this entry is open and honest.

“Repeatedly it’s confirmed how dangerous the state of scholar welfare is”

Moreover, ISO recommends that an “built-in housing coverage” be put in place for incoming college students, with many alerts “at the moment indicating” that housing just isn’t so as. 

To cease college students feeling as in the event that they’re “second class residents”, as Van der Velden at the moment describes it, greater than just some suggestions must be stuffed – an overhaul could also be crucial.

It’s onerous to pinpoint what must occur to get worldwide college students a “first-class” place, she added. 

“Integration between non-Dutch and Dutch college students may very well be stimulated, by, for instance level initiatives like BuddyGoDutch out to them. And, as most often, universities may pay further consideration to their worldwide college students by higher steerage by scholar counsellors,” she concluded.

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