Universiteit Leiden

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Room for refugee students

On World Refugee Day, held every year on 20 June, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. Leiden University is committed to students with a refugee background. For example, the university has set up a Meeting Point and the Leiden Science Run raises money for UAF, the foundation for refugee students.

Meeting Point

The Meeting Point for Refugee Students is a place where students with a refugee background can meet one another and get advice and training to improve their academic skills. They can also get coaching to find better access to the labour market. The Meeting Point is an initiative of Lesage Munyemana, refugee and biology student from Congo. On 20 June, World Refugee Day, we celebrate the one-year anniversary with a symposium.

Leiden Science Run

The Leiden Science Run will take place on 29 September! Form a team together with friends, colleagues, roommates for this relay race of 5 km at the Bio Science Park in Leiden and Oegstgeest. Leiden University organises this sponsor contest for the UAF, in collaboration with the University Sports Centre and running club Currimus. Join the Leiden Science Run!

Preparatory Year Leiden

Also starting in September is the Preparatory Year Leiden. During this year, students are trained for their dream study at an academic university or a university of applied sciences. The students are taught in the Dutch and English language, mathematics and history. Students also acquire research skills and practical skills, for instance how to borrow a book from a library, or how to cope with typical Dutch directness. The Preparatory Year Leiden has had two succesful editions so far, the third group will start in September 2018.

Reach & Teach

Seven International Studies students are at the helm of Reach & Teach, a student platform that uses language lessons and social activities to promote the integration of holders of residence permits and asylum seekers in The Hague. Initiator Elsa Varela Put: ‘Most refugees I have spoken to stress that they want to be less isolated. They don’t just want to learn Dutch; they want to get to know people and be able to meet someone for a drink.’


Photography: Marc de Haan
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