Integration exams cancelled as IT errors take hold

Integration exam
Image from a video portraying students during the integration exam (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs)Image from a video portraying students during the integration exam (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs)

Government internet connectivity issues have forced the temporary stoppage of the Dutch integration exam, affecting hundreds of people who already made plans to take the test. At least 716 people are known to have registered for the exam which must often be taken in the person’s country of origin, meaning the registrants have lost out on money spent for travel arrangements.

The Ministry of Social Affairs ordered the stoppage beginning November 1st while the problems are sorted out. The prospective residents have already paid the 350 euro exam fee, reports newspaper Volkskrant.

One travel insurance expert told the NL Times it is extremely unlikely that any of the people affected would be reimbursed for their troubles. “My guess is no, it would not be covered,” he said, though it depends on the terms of each person’s own policy.

The exam is taken at a Dutch mission in the home country, using a secure internet connection between the diplomatic mission and the Dutch office for education implementation, DUO, located in Groningen.

The ministry says they will not allow the integration exam to be taken abroad until the information technology problems are fixed. A timetable for this has not been released.

A parliamentary committee report released last month determined that the Dutch government wastes up to five billion euros annually on IT failures.