Distinguishment of trainees in higher professional education: “Be sure to talk about it”

Andreessen is a lecturer at the Fontys Institute of Education and has conducted various studies on internalization in her career. For example, the above figures show that 1 in 10 of all training seekers suspected they had been discriminated against because it was difficult to find training. Girls suffer from this almost twice as often as boys and more than 44 percent of all Moroccan-Dutch students have experienced it.

Within higher professional education, 7 percent of all students experience this. How many Fontys students experience discrimination in training remains to be seen, but according to Andreessen, the problem certainly plays a role here as well. “As an HBO student, you have to go through an internship for your education. And if that process becomes more difficult due to discrimination, it can have different consequences for your course of study, degree, and eventual career.”

Listen to your intuition
However, according to the lecturer, students often choose not to report discrimination before or during training, and as a result the problem remains undetected. “They often have the idea that schools’ loyalty lies with the corporations, not with them. Or that they must have real proof before they can complain. That’s just not true. Above all, listen to your intuition. If it doesn’t feel good, then often Which means that something is happening and there is more than enough reason to discuss it.

But where do you do that? Fontys does not have a discrimination (training) hotline. The lecturer explains that this is not necessarily necessary. “Students often do not want their report to be dealt with by the administration, but something is done about their situation. With such a hotline, you have to take into account many things. For example, it should not be easy for students to report to outsiders Not only that, but the expertise from the organization must also be there to manage and resolve these issues.”

learning moments
Hotline or not, Andreessen advises students to always discuss any form of discrimination. “Do this with someone you trust and who is in a position to help you. Think of your training or practical supervisor, a vocational study supervisor or a lecturer with whom you get on well. Then things can then start, for example, with your training company. Because if we don’t have this conversation, there won’t be a learning moment.”

According to the professor, there are other differences in addition to the previously mentioned forms of internal discrimination. “For example, we talk about affirmative action when, for example, men are required to work in youth. Some students also experience discrimination because of their level of education. For example, MBO students feel displaced by HBO students, and they, in turn, are “burdened.” University graduates.

Take action
If you feel that you are really being discriminated against during the application process, you can actually take action yourself. Ask an internship company why you were turned down, for example. Is this because of a bad cover letter? What are the concrete tips for making it better next time? But if you feel that because of the color of your skin, your level, your gender or your religion, it is not acceptable.”

In conclusion, the lecturer would like to impress all the students with something. “You can’t do anything about discrimination yourself, because it’s not your fault. Have you been rejected because of your gender, religion, or ethnicity? It’s simply prohibited by law. Please share your experiences if you feel comfortable with them, so we can do something about it together. Not only For yourself, but also for other students. [Noëlle van den Berg]

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