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Download the book ‘Niet meer slechts een vluchteling’ ('No Longer Just a Refugee')

Niet meer (slechts) een vluchteling (1)
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As a refugee in the Netherlands, you encounter many new experiences, despite the 'baggage' you already carry with you. The language and culture, among other things, are often entirely different from what you are accustomed to. This often makes it challenging for refugees to pursue education in the Netherlands, even if they have done so in their country of origin. Therefore, the IT company AFAS, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, the foundation for Refugee Students, and the Municipality of Utrecht have jointly decided to facilitate the path to education for refugees.

From 2015 to 2021, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences offered the pre-bachelor program, an initiative for refugees who wanted and could study in Dutch higher education. Four researchers from Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, two of whom have a refugee background themselves, followed these (former) students for five years in the research project 'Gate of Hope.' Oumar Barry, chairman of the Andin foundation, is one of the researchers in this project.

The stories of the (former) students revolve around their journey in Dutch society: how they continue with their lives, focus on their family in the country of origin or elsewhere, take new steps, and contribute to the society that has embraced them. The stories also address the challenges faced by young people adapting to a completely different education system.

The researchers considered it essential for the research to be participatory, as reciprocal as possible, and for the (former) students themselves to benefit from the conversations. The quotes from these students provide insight into how teachers, fellow students, and educational organizations (policies) play a significant role in their perceived well-being. Although the research took place within higher education, we believe (and hear!) that the book also relates to issues surrounding inclusive education and students with a refugee background in secondary and vocational education.

Read the PDF version of the book 'No Longer Just a Refugee' (Dutch) here.

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