Education for all
Right2Education is a community that believes in equal opportunity for all. We believe factors such as countries of origin, race, ethnic background, gender, sexuality and all other ways of differentiation shouldn’t limit access to education.
Right2Education is an opportunity for refugees and asylum seekers to access an education in which they are able to learn Dutch (A1-B1) and English (A1-C1). In the environment of Amsterdam University College, they are no longer refugees but guests, which is why we like to refer to them as guest students.
We believe it is no longer enough to be witnesses of what is known as the “refugee crisis”. This initiative is about getting involved, taking a stand and contributing to the search for equality and justice.
Since January 2016, we have opened up classes to over 500 guest students. These courses are taught both by AUC students and official teachers. In both cases, the material taught is exactly the same and guarantees them a certificate proving their proficiency given they manage to pass the exam.
AUC/UvA/VU students teach in groups of 2 and twice a week for 3 hours. During the AUC intensive periods (either January or June) guest students can attend AUC language courses alongside fellow AUC students.
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, please contact us. Applications open several months before classes begin.
Activities and buddies
As with any education, we think it’s important to have a balance between the academics and social activities
which is why we also organise social events such as potlucks, ice skating and movie nights. Our initiative is about building a community based on shared environments.
We created a buddy system in which guests students are paired up with an AUC/UvA/VU student in order to facilitate integration and enable both parties to get to know each other better in a safe and secure environment. Together, they go to parties, dinners, museums, excursions, bike tours and also just simply hang out. By doing this, our guest students have already taught us so much, especially in terms of creating a community which goes beyond traditional notions of nationality and language.
Buddy sign-ups run parallel to classes, so begin in September, November, February and April.
At first we contacted the municipality of Amsterdam in December 2015. They provided us with a list of interested refugees of which eventually the majority became part of our first cohort of guest students at AUC in January. We have recently decided to alter the selection process since most of the students selected were in fact non-status holders. We accept anyone with a refugee background, including non-status holders, to ensure that our classes are available for all that need them.
Our selection process consists of an online form, through which new students can sign up for an application session. During this first session, Right2Education is introduced and English and Dutch levels are tested to determine whether or not someone is able to follow language courses with Right2Education. Once accepted, the guest students are paired up with an AUC student as part of the “buddy system”.
Initial selection process
Open access education
Since becoming an official "Stichting" (foundation), we are working towards spreading Right2Education to other universities and institutions, starting off with University Colleges in the Netherlands. We hope the similar environment and structure will encourage students to take action and start an initiative like that of Right2Education.
We encourage anyone interested in creating a similar model to contact us, and we would be happy to share ideas and resources.
Many of our teachers have been creating public resources, such as the Right2Education podcast created by our previous Academic and Teacher Coordinator, Benji Blower.
For several years we have been integrating some of our guest students in Amsterdam University College as official students. These are guest students with a advanced level of English and are thus able to apply through the normal application procedure any potential AUC student must follow. The guest students are hereby also eligible for scholarships.
In future years, we hope to continue this and form partnerships with other Dutch universities and training programmes.