During the week of October 23, EenVandaag broadcasted three reports on the study programme for Indonesian nurses at Avans+. This programme is a collaboration between Avans+ and the Yomema organisation. The goal of this collaboration is twofold: to boost the further development of Indonesian healthcare, and to provide a solution to the continuous demand for healthcare professionals in the Netherlands. The programme appeared to be one of many promising initiatives to contribute to this.
Publication date: 28-10-2023
We regret the fact that some students have been negatively impacted. We would like to express sincere understanding for the emotion shown and experiences shared by the student who was interviewed for the show, and for what other students have experienced in this regard. They had different expectations in terms of their study programme and stay in the Netherlands, and we are truly sorry about that.
Higher professional education study programme
However, unlike the show suggested, the programme involved is actually an officially accredited higher professional education study programme, and the diploma is required in order to work as a professional nurse in the Netherlands. During the first year of the programme, we discovered that some aspects needed improvement, and we got to work on those. Areas of focus included reducing the number of teaching hours when those were viewed as too intensive, and to offer more intensive study counselling.
In actuality, we have observed that despite these adjustments, many students still struggle with the level of the education. And as in any other comparable study programme, it turns out that not all students are able to meet the programme requirements in the first year. These students will unfortunately need to leave the programme. For the group of Indonesian students in particular the impact is huge, as they will need to return home ahead of schedule. We completely understand that there are mixed feelings involved when these students look back at their time in the Netherlands. That is very unfortunate.
Different turn of events
We experienced that the organisation of the programme was extra challenging due to uncertainties regarding laws and regulations. This became clear through our contacts with official government bodies such as the Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service and the Tax Administration, who we involved and asked for advice from the start. The broadcast mentioned a lack of adequate frameworks from official bodies. We recognise the issue and the complexity of laws and regulations definitely contributed to the challenging course of the programme.
We were also shocked by several things mentioned during the show that had not been made known to us until later or that we had even been unaware of until now. For example the WhatsApp messages exchanged between de former chairman of the board of the healthcare institution mentioned and several students. We clearly distance ourselves from this. This also applies to the lawyer in question who approached another party with an offer of participation in the programme without our knowledge. And the penalty clause applied at the start of the programme.
Quality of the study programme
At the same time, we do not identify with every single statement made on air. We truly did set up this programme with the previously described goals in mind. But we must conclude that we cannot align the varying expectations of all those involved. The quality requirements of the programme in some cases do not match up with the expectations and the prior education of the students. As a result, we will be reflecting on how future-proof the programme is, because we wish to prevent that more students feel let down.
Avans+ distinguishes itself from Avans University of Applied Sciences with the education the institution offers. Avans+ teams up with market players to provide custom solutions to labour issues. This type of education is not publicly funded. Avans+ offers study programmes at Bachelor and Master level that train professionals in sectors with a labour market shortage, such as healthcare, technology and education.