Mahmoud is almost ready to start his bachelor programme “Only the English exam to go”

Thursday 11 July 2019

They come from countries such as Syria, Iran and Albania and they have one thing in common: ambition. They want to become a doctor, study engineering, or take an IT course. But however smart you are, when you have a different cultural background and mother tongue, you have to overcome a lot of obstacles to study in the Netherlands.


This is where the preparatory year for refugees with a higher-education degree and speakers of other languages comes in. This is a collaboration between NHL Stenden and roc Friesland College that allows people of these groups to enrol in a study programme at a university of applied sciences. Participants would follow classes like Dutch, mathematics, English, study abilities, and cultural diversity. A coach guided the students in choosing the right study programme.

“I have had a very remarkable year. It was fun, but also hard work. When I started, I was scared to ask questions or do presentations in front of a group and now I am standing in front of you all,” Ula Hayatleh from Syria says in English. She is about to start with the English-taught International Business programme.

Read the whole (Dutch) article on the website of Leeuwarden Courant (subscription needed)

By: Ines Jonker
Photo: Niels Westra