D66 seeks clarity on National Ombudsmans’ students report

The Demo­cratic Party D66 in the Sec­ond Chamber of the Dutch Parliament wants to see concrete action following a report of the Dutch Na­tional Ombudsman about the obstacles that Dutch Caribbean students face in the Netherlands.

D66 Members of Parlia­ment (MPs) Antjc Dier­tens and Jan Paternotte on Thursday, submitted written questions to Min­ister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van En­gelshoven and State Secre­tary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ray­mond Knops in an effort to get answers about this long­standing issue.

“Which signals of obstacles of students from the Carib­bean part of the Kingdom were already known before the investigation, and what steps did you take to miti­gate this?” asked the MPs in reference to the many challenges that the Na­tional Ombudsman cited in his report in relation to finances, health, education, preparations, information and housing.

“What is your reaction to the observation of the Na­tional Ombudsman that the support to students from the Dutch Caribbean is lag­ging compared to the sup­port that other internation­al students receive?” Dier­tens and Paternotte asked about the recommenda­tions in the Ombudsman report.

The MPs wanted to know in what manner the uni­versities and schools in the Netherlands prepared students from outside the Netherlands for a life in the Netherlands, whether these information sources and activities were also ac­cessible for Dutch Carib­bean students, and whether the schools and universities gave content to the obliga­tion to take the situation and interests of this group of incoming students into account.

Diertens and Paternotte asked why Dutch Carib­bean students could not get Dutch health care insur­ance and care allowance, as a result of which they need to take more expensive, in­ternational health care in­surance.

As for finding suitable, affordable housing in the Netherlands, the MPs en­quired what assistance was available for the Dutch Caribbean students. They also wanted to know how the students could be as­sisted with the providing of a Citizen Service Number (“Burger service nummer (BSN)”) which is needed for all official transactions in the Netherlands.

Referring to the observa­tions of the Ombudsman about the repayment of Dutch DUO study-financ­ing loans, the MPs asked the minister and state sec­retary whether they were aware of the obstacles that the Dutch Caribbean stu­dents faced. The MPs re­quested the arrangement of a better, more suitable re­payment scheme that took the generally lower salaries and higher costs of living on the islands into account.

Diertens and Paternotte wanted to know what ar­rangements were in place to facilitate the study of medical science by Dutch Caribbean students, also to prevent shortages of lo­cal medical doctors on the islands.

The Daily Herald.

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One comment

  1. Elections are coming to town. This party uses Google Adsense to influence voters via Caribbean news websites. Only in the few months before an election they feed the media with so called concerns about the islands.
    The rest of the 4 years period you will not hear from these “representatives”. As soon as elections have passed they celebrate their 116.000 plus euro compensation with a shopping tour to Paris.

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