University Pioneers

About UP Community


The typical first-generation student does not exist. For this reason, we are launching UP-Community. For and by people who are or have been first-generation students with offerings that take into account the diversity among first-generation students.

Students are in charge

Everyone is different and has different needs. First-generation students can choose which offerings they want to take advantage of or not. They do not become participants, but members of the community. We offer them the network and development opportunities. We also make visible the unwritten rules that often unintentionally prevail at university. This way, they too can get the most out of their studies and study time. Further good to know:

  • Membership is free
  • It is not mandatory to attend
  • Membership at UP is perfectly to combine with membership at a student or study association
  • For students, staff and alumni!

We are aware that not everyone wants to share their story or fall under the label of first-generation student; there is no need for that, as that is what our ambassadors are for. You can also just come to UP to participate in activities or simply follow our offer, without actively participating.

Strength of first-generation

Central to UP-Community is the strength of first-generation students, which lies precisely in the fact that they are the connectors between their home world and the university world. This makes first-generation students an indispensable link in breaking university bubbles. Hence the name University Pioneers: first-generation students are the pioneers who bridge gaps on their own and bring worlds together in the process.


  1. Increase sense of home at UU
  2. Creating a network
  3. Increase study and student success
  4. Making unwritten rules visible
  5. Stressing the power of the first-generation student as a connector

How are we going to achieve that?

The programme is founded on three pillars:

  • mentoring

The student may be paired with a mentor who addresses them. The mentor guides the student through the university.

  • talent development

Through cross-faculty theme nights, workshops, symposiums, etc., ambassadors will educate, inspire and support first-generation students in developing their talents.

  • hidden curriculum

This involves expressing and discussing the unwritten rules that prevail (often unintentionally) within a university community, in both positive and negative terms, such as certain norms, values and beliefs that are conveyed both in the lecture hall and in the social environment.

Do you have a tip or suggestion on how we can take the UP-Community programme some steps further? You can contact us with project leader Chahida Bouhamou ( or at