For Caribbean students, it is sometimes difficult to come to the Netherlands for a study programme or exchange. A new ‘Kingdom grant’ is therefore being introduced, similar to the grants of the European Erasmus programme. The plan had already been announced previously and has now been confirmed.

Rectifying the situation

“A student from Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten or the BES islands (Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius) can currently go to all European countries – except the Netherlands – with a grant from Erasmus+,” says a statement. “The four countries would like to rectify this situation.”

The Kingdom grant is intended to enable mobility at senior secondary vocational education, higher professional education and university level, “both between the islands themselves and with the Netherlands”. Minister Dijkgraaf calls it a concrete step to improve study success. “I am convinced that this will really help them.”

Orientation year

Another agreement was also made: for a better transition to higher professional education or university education, the four countries wish to combine initiatives for a ‘pre-academic year’ and further develop them into a ‘Caribbean academic orientation year’.

The idea is for the three Caribbean universities to offer a joint preparatory programme, “where desired in cooperation with Dutch universities of applied sciences and universities”. Secondary education in these parts of the Kingdom must also be strengthened in order to improve the transition to higher education.

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