Obstacle removed

Caribbean students to get BSN number more quickly

cariben, curacao,
Students from Curaçao to get a passport earlier. Photo: Pixabay

The Dutch Minister of Education, Robbert Dijkgraaf, is going to make things easier for the Caribbean students coming to the Dutch mainland to study. Last Thursday, he announced that they now can get a BSN number through the Education Executive Agency (DUO) before they leave for the Netherlands.

This enables them to register in the Dutch municipal database in their Caribbean place of residence. It also allows them get a new Dutch passport already containing the BSN number.

Previously, they could only get a BSN number and passport at a municipal counter in the Netherlands, which led to a delay in their application for student financing and the student public transport card. They were also unable to open a bank account or take out insurance.

Vulnerable students
With this decision, Dijkgraaf aims to help vulnerable Caribbean students. In 2020 it emerged from a report by the national ombudsman that Caribbean students often fall behind in their studies and are more likely to drop out and run into financial problems. Additionally, many of them start their studies with a language deficiency.

The Minister of Education had previously stated that he would like to institute a new scholarship specially for the Dutch Caribbean area, similar to the Erasmus scholarship. The current status of that plan is not known.