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The Dutch government has announced additional funds for two novel initiatives to enrich its higher education landscape. The first is an agreement with five university colleges to improve the non-Western immigrant students’ graduation rates, which remain low in the Netherlands. A total of EUR 8 million for 2009 (rising to EUR 17 million by 2011) will be divided between the institutions, based on enrolment of immigrant students and is intended for complementary measures, such as extra language classes, intensive guidance and summer classes, to name a few examples. In each agreement, specific targets have been set for 2011. Based on the achievement by this period, these schools will receive lower or higher allocations in the years afterwards.
The second scheme concerns the establishment of special Graduate Programmes with the aim of improving the academic and research environment of talented researchers. Based on a call for proposals, a total of nine programmes, each one a collaborative initiative by various universities, have been chosen to form these first ‘Graduate Schools’. The budget made available for this pilot project is EUR 7 million.