Since the academic year 2017-2018, the Tilburg University Language Center has been offering an academic pre-Bachelor’s programme for refugee students. This year-long educational programme prepares high-potential refugees for a Dutch- or English-taught Bachelor’s programme at a university. In addition, students prepare for the Dutch Civic Integration Exams. A special part of the pre-Bachelor’s programme is an internship at a company in the Brabant region. This increases the refugees’ chances on the labour market during and after their studies. In this report, the target group and structure of the programme, the way in which the project is financed, and the experiences of the first pilot year are described. The authors also advocate the importance of an academic language and transition year, explain why this task is best assigned to a university language centre, and make recommendations for institutions that want to set up such a language and transition year themselves.

DOI: 10.1515/cercles-2019-0008
ISSN: 2191-611X