Contextualizing Refugees

Man in refugee camp


The student is able to:

  • Identify the assumptions that form the basis of the Dutch integration exam
  • Explain national and international policy on current issues around migration, refugees and integration
  • Describe current issues around migration and refugees using different disciplines like economics, law, political sciences and sociology


Refugees are mostly positioned from predetermined perspectives. This makes for very one-sided conversations. Wouldn’t you like to know more about the rich and broad context connected to this topic? ‘Contextualizing Refugees’ gives students a change to develop a truly informed opinion. It does so by bringing together professors from all faculties, policy- and lawmakers, students and refugees themselves. Short and dynamic lectures will cover a broad range of themes designed to foster a deeper understanding and encourage conversation.

First, it builds historical knowledge on long term migration patterns such as the out of Africa theory and migrant groups in Europe. Middle East specialists will then unravel the various political developments of this region. Time will be devoted to immigration law, medical care in refugee camps and the effects of psychological war trauma. Attention will also be paid to colonial history and thinking plus future migration challenges such as the effects of climate change. After this rich introduction, Dutch and European policy writers plus student organizations have a change to explain their initiatives regarding the current influx.

But this course doesn’t just talk about refugees, it also employs them. Part of the course is reserved for highly educated asylum seekers. They will give lectures ranging from physics to archeology, depending on their field of expertise. By focusing on their professional talents instead of their personal story, this course gives them a chance to be professionals instead of victims. Parallel to the lectures mentioned above students will work in teams, analyzing Dutch policy. The other test include an essay based on the lectures. Come join the conversation!      


Check Datanose for the exact information.


Check the website.


UvA-students can register themself from Thursday 15 June 2017 (look for code 5512CORE6Y in SIS) until a week before the start of the course. If you have any trouble while registering please contact:

Other parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions, interested can register from 1 June 2017 through the registration form.

Short-term, open uva courses
Language of instruction
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Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies