Refugees to get grants to pay for integration courses
Thursday 03 January 2013
Asylum seekers with a residency permit for the Netherlands can get a grant of up to €10,000 to pay for their compulsory integration course, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has announced.
Since January 1, refugees have to organise their own courses but will be able to borrow the funds from education funding group DUO, the same body that organises student grants.
‘That amount is sufficient to allow an illiterate asylum seeker to complete the course,’ Asscher said in a briefing to MPs.
DUO will pay the money directly to the course organisers. If the refugee passes the course, the loan will not have to be repaid.
If they fail because they did not work hard enough, they will have to repay the loan over a 10-year-period at a low rate of interest, Asscher said. Personal circumstances, such as long-term illness, will be taken into account.