MPs query fall-off in integration course students

There appears to have been a sharp drop in the number of new immigrants in the Netherlands taking integration courses, according to news weekly De Groene Amsterdammer.

MPs from the ruling VVD and Labour parties, plus the opposition Christian Democrats, have now asked social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher to investigate.

They want to know if the fall-off stems from changes in the law which now requires immigrants to organise and pay for their own courses. Integration courses used to be organised and paid for by local councils.


Since the new law was introduced just 923 people have applied for a loan to pay for their integration course, the weekly magazine said.

In total, 7,803 should be taking a course, which is compulsory for immigrants from outside the EU and Turkey.

While not having a loan does not mean people are failing to take the course, ‘it would appear that a large group have dropped off the radar,’ Christian Democrat MP Pieter Heerma said.

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