A digital meeting was held yesterday to discuss internationalisation in Eindhoven. CDA councillor, Miriam Frosi, organised this informative evening.
Other than Cllr Frosi and other CDA councillors, those invited represented Eindhoven News, Brainport Development, and the Indian Centre in the Netherlands (ICIN). There was also a life coach present. Among other things, the plight of international students due to the corona crisis was an important discussion point.
As reported earlier by Eindhoven News, Cllr Frosi had already submitted queries regarding the issue of international students’s financial and psychological woes to the city council. The council had provided detailed answers to the questions.
Indian Centre’s helped students
ICIN told those at the meeting about the role they’ve played temporarily helping 25 Indian students across the Netherlands during the corona crisis. Their founder, Vishwanath NG, also said they plan to hold a students’ meeting in July. He highlighted the importance of paying attention to students’ mental health.
Expat life coach, Eef Armstrong, informed the group about the psychological challenges internationals living abroad have been facing during the corona crisis.
Eindhoven News and its foundation, the International Platform Eindhoven, has been in touch with both TU/E and Fontys. We’ve been continuously working to gather information about the international students’ situation. Since March, there have been at least 30 non-EU TU/e students who’ve approached the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) with financial concerns.
That’s according to TU/E spokesperson, Ivo Jongsma. Fontys couldn’t supply concrete numbers because they have decentralised faculties. But they said the number of affected students runs into the dozens too. At several of their campuses, international students have raised concerns related to tuition fees and rentals.
An inquiry among several social groups of internationals provided these quotes. “I would say close to 80%, if not more, of my fellow international students have or had financial troubles. The bottom line is that only students with financially supportive families or friends can rely or fall back on them.”
And: “But I’ve seen those who’ve had hours cuts or lost their jobs. They’ve been hit hard.” SIPE (International Platform Eindhoven Foundation) will keep track of this issue.
Stijn Steenbakkers, Eindhoven councillor for Education, expressed his thanks to Cllr Frosi for organising the meeting. He also thanked the parties present for their input.
A report by Chaitali Sengupta
Editor: Melinda Walraven