Alderman for Education Kasmi does not want to talk to Caribbean students separately about the obstacles they encounter when they start studying in Rotterdam. Kasmi thinks this is primarily a matter for the educational institutions.
Incidentally, they have promised to do whatever it takes to solve those problems for this specific group. A transition year could be the egg of Columbus.
Attention to the matter came from Think councilor Yigit, who in turn took note of a report by the National Ombudsman which stated that 1,600 young people from Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands are ” in good spirits at a study start in the Netherlands, but hardly receive any study choice guidance. No BSN in advance, no entitlement to Dutch health insurance and being unfamiliar with taxes and surcharges. “”
Not all 1,600 choose Rotterdam, but there are plenty of them. There are no real strict figures, but the Hogeschool Rotterdam has a number of about 180 students per year.
“A number of things such as health insurance and BSN, students have to arrange before they are registered with one of the educational institutions”, explains Alderman Kasmi. “” The Rotterdam MBO, HBO and WO institutions inform prospective international students about studying in Rotterdam via their website. The institutions also offer guidance to these students in various ways. For example, there is an introduction week for Caribbean students and there are elective courses specifically for Caribbean students to support them in studying in the Netherlands, such as at Hogeschool Rotterdam ‘From the Antilles in the Netherlands’. These electives deal with topics such as housing benefits and language development. Guidance is also provided by means of a mentor or study advisor. “
Kasmi recognizes that timely visits to open days from that distance is not (also financially) possible and therefore a handicap.
When asked by council member Ygit what efforts he will make to increase awareness of taxes and benefits among Caribbean students in Rotterdam, he replied: “” Attention is paid to these matters in the various electives or (study) guidance for these students. Students are advised of the possibilities to request a (Caribbean) peer coach who can help with this support. It is also encouraged to join a Caribbean student or dance association. These themes could also be addressed in a proposed transition year. “”
Categories: Netherlands Vs Former Antilles