'We just add one more chair'

Salma from Syria: ‘Thanks to Incluusion, I received funding to write my Master’s thesis on female detainees in Syria. That was the first step towards my new future.’

Het team van Incluusion.
The Incluusion team. Photo by Robin Alysha Clemens.

Incluusion gives refugees the opportunity to enrol  in university degree programmes, so they can continue the academic careers that they started in their home countries. PhD candidates Marij Swinkels and Hilke Grootelaar came up with the idea in the spring of 2016. The concept was unique to the Netherlands, and the project underwent explosive growth within two weeks after the pilot had started.

Elena Valbusa, Incluusion project manager: 'We have expanded the concept to other universities in order to help more people. We want to spread a message of optimism and show the positive and transformative impact of education  in the lives of refugees.'

Over 300 refugee students, either with or without asylum statuses, have since enrolled at Utrecht University through Incluusion.