Higher education now open to the undocumented after age of 18

11 Mar 2022 13:54 | Communication

As of this month, young people without residence status can study at the AUAS and other higher education institutions based in Amsterdam. To this end, the educational institutions have come to an agreement with the City of Amsterdam.

Until now, young people without a residence permit could not enter higher education after the age of eighteen. This excludes them from society and they often end up in the black economy. These youths were born in the Netherlands, or have been living in the Netherlands from an early age.

Brazilian Anna Lima Alves came to the Netherlands with her parents in 2012 at the age of 11. After she finished high school, she was 18 and could not continue her education. Thanks to the help and guidance of Refugee Support (Steunpunt Vluchtelingen), and after months of figuring things out, Anna managed to start the Nursing course at the AUAS in the summer of 2020. Anna was present when the agreements were signed at City Hall. She is thrilled: "This opens doors and gives young people opportunities to build a future."

The AUAS has long been committed to enabling young people without residence status to study. Executive Board Chair Jopie Nooren: "The AUAS feels a responsibility to enable young people to study and to build a society in which people have equal opportunities, regardless of where they come from. This covenant is an important step towards making this possible for this group of youngsters."

The AUAS and other Amsterdam colleges and universities will be helping these young people in obtaining a residence permit for their studies. They also want to offer contract courses, so that the students can obtain course-related certificates. The students will pay a lower rate for the programme. The City will also arrange for alternative study funding, as young people without residence permits cannot make use of regular study funding. The new agreements are part of a two-year trial.