Many problems with Dutch integration exam: language lecturers

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)

There are many problems with the integration exam immigrants have to pass if they want to get their Dutch passport, language schools, teachers of Dutch as a second language ant the NT2 professional association said to newspaper Trouw. This results in many immigrants struggling to integrate into Dutch society, according to the language teachers.

A big problem is that parts of the exam are too difficult, and exam writers are not given feedback on their mistakes. There are also long waiting times to write the examination. And the exam currently focuses primarily on language and does not prepare immigrants for participating in society.

The system is flawed, according to the language teachers. "Earlier they had to perform tasks outside: go to the housing association, have a conversation with the doctor, ask the employer for a day off. Nowadays it's mostly theory behind computers", Monique Schrool of professional association NT2 said to Trouw. "Immigrants who now pass are far less assertive, less verbally skilled and less prepared to participate in society than before." 

People who immigrate to the Netherlands have three years to write and pass their integration exam. If they do not do so in that time, they face a fine of up to 1,250. A third of immigrants who arrived in the Netherlands in 2013, and therefore had to pass their exam by 2016, failed to do so, according to That amounts to 1,500 immigrants being fined. This year 9 thousand immigrants have to pass their exam or face a fine.