Unbound is a collaboration project between the University of Amsterdam (Faculty of Science) and Right2Education, offering refugees and asylum-seekers the opportunity to join courses at the UvA on a course-by-course basis.


Higher education opportunities for refugees and asylum-seekers are limited, and demand far exceeds any provision for it. Projects to open up university courses exist across the Netherlands (Utrecht,   LeidenDelft, and Wageningen) but no such scheme exists yet in Amsterdam. 

Whilst there are limited opportunities for scholarships, or loans for settled refugees, these often do not address the systematic barriers. For example, universities do not always recognise foreign credentials, whilst some students struggle to acquire the documentation necessary from abroad. Some students have precarious living situations, or are awaiting a residence permit or refugee status. Others might feel they do not belong in university These barriers create an education deficit in Amsterdam, and mean that many people from a refugee background are systematically excluded from higher education. 

We wanted to devise a way of accessing higher education which was available without formal credentials, and without the need to commit to the financial or time demands of full-time formal education. We hope that this will make higher education more accessible for those who face bureaucratic or educational barriers.

These courses are also an opportunity to open up university spaces, and ensure higher education is accessible on the basis of merit, not background. We hope that this project will address that higher education deficit, and create a better connection between universities and the societies they operate in.

our mission: education for all

about us

The project was started in 2023 by a team from Right2Education and the Student Impact Centre at the FNWI (Faculty of Science) at the UvA, as a part of the UvA ‘GrassRoots Science 4all’ scheme. Unbound is inspired by similar projects such as InclUUsion at Utrecht University, IncLUsion at Leiden University, TU/enable at Delft University, and WUrth-while at Wageningen University. 


After course selection procedures have ended, lecturers at the UvA can offer a given number of spaces for guest students to join the course. These courses are then listed on our website, and applications are opened.

Some of these courses are open to anyone with a high school diploma, whereas others require a background/degree in a specific subject. 

Students can apply by filling in a form. Our team will then make sure the language and education prerequisites are met for that course, by conducting an interview with every applicant.

We can only except applicants who meet the prerequisites for the specific course, but aim to be aware of the fact that proving eligibility with documentation is a hurdle for some students.

Introductory sessions are run by the Student Impact Centre at the FNWI. Here students will be shown around the building, get the books needed, and have the opportunity to be partnered up with a ‘buddy’ from the course.

A schedule and necessary readings will be sent. 

Because our project does not involve formal enrollment, students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion. This will state how many credits the course is worth. 

Currently most courses offered do not allow for graded certificates, or for official credits to be given. We hope to be able to offer this soon.

contact us

Please get in touch if you want to learn more about the project, if you have ideas, or if you want to get involved. We are always looking to improve the range of our courses on offer, and the support which we offer students.