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Support for refugee scholars is insufficient

January 23, 2023

The war in Ukraine has laid bare obstacles for refugee scholars that have already existed for a considerable time. In a new report, The Young Academy sets out the problems faced by knowledge institutions in this regard.

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Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, various initiatives have been launched to assist refugees from the affected areas, including within academia. But despite the efforts of universities, the Dutch system for supporting refugee scholars has proved ineffective. There are, for example, no proper funding options for temporary appointments and bursaries for these scholars. Knowledge institutions are severely limited in the financial support they can offer, partly because tax rules make it impossible to provide temporary bursaries. A national structure is also needed for reception and support, and for providing information.

The Young Academy recommends that the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science enter into talks with the Minister of Finance and the Dutch Labour Inspectorate in order to guarantee a bursary-granting party that there will be no tax consequences if that body provides flexible bursaries to refugee scholars working at a Dutch university. This will enable existing organisations such as Scholars at Risk NL and Nuffic (the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education) to deal with both financial and practical barriers more effectively.

Read the report

All the relevant problems and recommendations are set out in the report Support for Refugee Scholars in the Netherlands. Facilities, problems, and recommendations for structured support for at-risk scholars in the Netherlands.

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