refugee students


A next step to a worthwhile future for refugee students while waiting for a legal status

WURth-while at Wageningen University & Research is a project for refugee students who are currently waiting for a legal status or have received a temporary residence permit. WURth-while offers the opportunity of participating for free in different courses offered by the University.

WURth-while is inspired by the InclUUsion project at Utrecht University.

Download WURth-while flyer

What is WURth-while?

WURth-while is an initiative started by a group of people from WUR and the Dutch Council for Refugees (VluchtelingenWerk Oost Nederland) to provide access to free higher education to refugee newcomers in the Netherlands: students that are currently "on hold" in emergency shelters, refugee centres or in their new homes.

What is the aim/mission?

People living in asylum seeker centres waiting for a legal status, or learning Dutch even after receiving their status, are often more or less excluded from society. Research shows this exclusion decreases the long-term chances for participation both in the labour market, and in other roles in society. Therefore it is important for asylum seekers to continue developing themselves, as well as becoming part of the society right from the start. This is beneficial to the well-being of individual asylum seekers as well as to society in general.

WURth-while targets to help newcomers to make use of the waiting period by offering them a chance to participate for free in different courses offered by Wageningen University & Research.

Interested in doing an MSc at WUR?

Newcomers who consider a WURth-while course to prepare for an MSc programme at WUR may want to check if they fulfil the admission requirements for a WUR master, to prevent a disappointment.

Who can follow the courses?

WURth-while is open to asylum seekers and refugees with an academic background or with experience studying at a university. They can participate in the programme up to five years after having received their residence permit.

How does WURth-while relate to the citizenship programme for refugees?

Refugees have to follow a citizenship programme during three daily periods a week. The citizenship programme is sometimes offered in the evenings too, depending on the policy of your hometown. If refugees want to participate in a WURth-while course, this course should be added to their personal development plan in consultation with the refugee worker at the local municipality.

Which courses are available?

The mission of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. Based on our mission, we focus on the domain of food and living environment.

Within this domain, courses are available in English or in Dutch on BSc and MSc level in the five disciplinary fields within WUR:
• Agrotechnology and Food Sciences
• Animal Sciences
• Environmental Sciences
• Plant Sciences
• Social Sciences

Here you can find a list with all the courses and links

WURth-while courses are free of charge. You can do one course per period. The WUR academic year has 6 course periods. For details, see Calendar Academic Year 2020 - 2021.

After successful completion of the course you will receive a signed course certificate.

The WURth-while programme only offers courses that do not include excursions or practical training. Places in the available courses are limited, so full = full! If you do not finalise the course successfully it will be more difficult to register for another course.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a course by completing the online registration form. After application a member of our team will have an intake meeting with you and send a report to the course coordinator, who decides if you can be admitted to the course.

Courses are taught in English or Dutch (see course list), and all applicants will have to show sufficient proficiency in English or Dutch during the intake interview or take an English or Dutch proficiency test at the University before they can start the course. Please note that the course admission procedure takes some time, so please apply at least 6 weeks in advance of the start of the course.

Application form WURth-while course

Can I participate as a teacher?

If you want to join this initiative as a teacher, please contact

Other questions

In case of any remaining questions please check our Q&A or mail to