The Dutch student union LSVb wants colleges and universities to set up a contact point for students who experience unequal opportunities when looking for an internship.
Especially university students experience discrimination when looking for an internship. (Photo: Roos van Tongeren)

The Dutch student union LSVb wants universities to set up a contact point for students who experience unequal opportunities when looking for an internship.

Lees in het Nederlands

Internship discrimination is a serious problem according to LSVb President Ama Boahene. "The first step towards a solution is to ensure that students report their experiences. Many students do not do that now, because they do not know where to turn or because they do not have faith in something being done with their report."

TU Delft has a manual for reporting incidents and requesting support, writes Chief Diversity Officer David Keyson in an answer to questions from Delta. Discrimination is mentioned here as one of the forms of unwanted behaviour (by a TU Delft student or staff member). Keyson is consulting with the Communications department to make the report button on the TU Delft website more prominent.

Research by the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) in 2020 showed that university students especially feel discriminated against when they are looking for an internship. This was said by 23% of them, compared to 8% of MBO (vocational education) students and 7% of HBO (universities of applies sciences) students. The SCP researcher did note, however, that only 88 university internship students took part in the study. "If just a few of them experience discrimination, you quickly get high percentages."

She also pointed out that in MBO and HBO education, internships are compulsory more often and more permanent internships are thus offered. For university students, the search for an internship would be more like a normal application procedure and the chance of discrimination would be higher.

HOP, Hein Cuppen