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An important message for all immigrants

Immigrants often don’t hear about issues regarding integration and language education due to the lack of information available in their own language, making them vulnerable to deception and exploitation. Please share this information with people who you think might benefit from it.
On november 16th 2016 De Volkskrant published an article which talks about the large number of low-quality language and integration schools that are now popping up in the Netherlands as a result of the European refugee crisis: https://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/-beunhazen-storten-zich-op-inburgeringsmarkt-flink-meer-taalscholen~a4415848/
The large influx of refugees into the Netherlands and the large amount of money that is being invested into integration by the Dutch government has created opportunities to make a lot of money out of it. Every immigrant can receive a loan of up to 10,000 euro to receive lessons. Unsurprisingly, the amount of language and integration schools in The Netherlands has increased significantly during the last years. In two years only, from 2014 to now, 43 new registered integration schools have appeared in the Netherlands, and this number is growing larger every month.
Lodewijk Asscher, the minister of Social Businesses, states that there are many so-called “beunhazen” appearing in the business of integration and language education. Beunhazen can be described as low-quality language schools whose sole aim is to earn as much money as possible by investing as little effort as possible. They often try to lure in clients by offering them “free” laptops (which are never free: the student is always the one who ends up paying for them, either from their loans or by receiving lower quality courses). These schools do not put their focus on making sure that their students complete their courses and pass their exams as quickly as possible, but instead try to minimise their expenses by putting many students, often even with different skill levels, in one class. On top of that, they often continue to give lessons to students who are already ready for the exams, just to squeeze more money out of them.
The role of VluchtelingenWerk Nederland is to give immigrants objective information about the different integration schools that are available for the immigrant to choose from and to let the immigrants be free to decide whichever school they prefer. This can be of great help and support to the immigrants. However, there are rumours and criticisms going around about VluchtelingenWerk using their position to send the refugees to schools with whom they collaborate or to their own courses. If this is true, this is unjust and detrimental to the education and integration of the immigrants. Research shows that the quality of these courses leaves something to be desired: the classes contain too many students and the courses are not very productive. The ministry now plans to appoint an external regulator who will test the quality of the language and integration schools more substantively.
We from Fairfield College are aware of these issues, since we regularly receive applications from students who decided to leave their former school due to issues mentioned above. We highly recommend immigrants not to take lessons in groups larger than 10 students, otherwise they won’t get receive enough personal guidance and progress will be much slower. We also recommend immigrants to think for themselves instead of blindly following the advice/orders from any company or institution. Remember that you are free to choose whichever school you prefer! You are not obliged to follow the instructions from VluchtelingenWerk.

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