The Rutte IV Cabinet is allocating means to provide so-called kingdom scholarships, aimed at increasing the temporary exchange of students within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
According to the Spring Memorandum with adjustments to the budget for this year, 500,000 euros will be made available for this purpose. This is in response to the motion submitted by Members of Parliament Jorien Wuite (D66) and Habtamu de Hoop (PvdA) in February 2022.
During the Four-Country Education Consultation in Willemstad last January, the ministers of Curacao, Aruba, and St. Maarten agreed with Dutch Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf’s proposal to introduce a kingdom scholarship. It is unknown whether the Caribbean countries will contribute financially to the fund.
With the scholarship, young people from the islands can more easily pursue further education at vocational, higher education and university levels as well as internships in the Netherlands or on any of the other islands.
Currently, students from Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St.Eustatius can use the “Erasmus+ programme” scholarship to study in all European Union (EU) states except the Netherlands. This is now being rectified.
Several studies, including one by the National Ombudsman, have shown that many Caribbean students face additional barriers when pursuing further education in the Netherlands. The reasons lie both in preparatory education on the islands and further education in the European part of the kingdom.
Therefore, work is also being done on the introduction of an “academic orientation year” for students arriving in the Netherlands. The Spring Memorandum does not provide clear information on the amounts reserved for the coming years.
The Daily Herald.