As of academic year 2017–2018, the four institutions of the Antwerp University Association offer a specially developed programme for refugees: THEA. THEA allows refugees to ‘try’ higher education during the final stages of their Dutch language studies. The aim is to allow these prospective students to find out more about the study programme they would like to take, which should help them prepare to make a well-informed decision. The project is organised in cooperation with Atlas – Antwerp’s agency for civic integration (City of Antwerp).
What the THEA programme involves
1 Selection: Candidates are selected by Atlas on the basis of their higher education prospects. They follow a study orientation plan with Atlas and have a clear idea about which study programme they would like to enrol in. Of course, they must also fulfil certain criteria (see below). Atlas draws up an agreement with each candidate.
2 Induction into the higher education institution: Participants are referred to a contact person at the higher education institution. This contact person organises an intake interview between the participant and the student counsellor for the programme the participant would like to enrol in.
3 Composition of the programme: The participant and his/her student counsellor discuss the choice of programme components for the THEA programme. Administrative aspects are also discussed. The student counsellor contacts the relevant lecturers and arranges a place for the ‘extra’ student in their education and evaluation activities.
4 Participation in the THEA programme: The participant takes part in all education and evaluation activities. The lecturers involved provide appropriate information about the quality of the participant’s study activities (level, progress etc.), especially in terms of programme choice and chances of successful programme completion.
5 Definitive enrolment in the most suitable higher education programme following successful completion of the required Dutch language exams.
Conditions for participation
The conditions for participation in the THEA are as follows:
- The candidate should belong to one of the following categories: a refugee, a person receiving protection on humanitarian grounds (Dutch: subsidiair beschermde) or a family member being reunited with a refugee.
- The candidate fulfils the qualification requirements for higher education and the relevant documents have been verified by the higher education institution concerned.
- The candidate has achieved CEFR level B1 in Dutch (equivalent to Level 3 at Linguapolis or Level 2.4 in an adult education centre) and has registered for the next level.
- The candidate has been selected by Atlas as a candidate with higher education prospects.
- The candidate has completed a study orientation plan at Atlas.
For more information on the THEA programme, please contact Atlas : Eveline Philippaerts – email@example.com – 03 338 70 16