University Pioneers


There are several initiatives within Utrecht University aimed at first-generation students. Below are some of the partners we work closely with:

  • the First Generation Fund
  • U-talent UP for highschool students
  • Honours Trajectum Utrecht

The First Generation Fund

If you are the first in your family to go to university, you usually find it harder to find your way there. Charisma Hehakaya also experienced this when she started studying. Now that she is completing her PhD, she would like to provide knowledge, experience and financial support to students who, like herself, are first-generation students. She therefore took the initiative, together with the Utrecht University Fund, to set up the First Generation Fund.

Photo: David Meulenbeld

Who is eligible for a grant?

Students whose parents did not go to university and are studying at Utrecht University.

What does the First Generation Fund offer?

Grants for first-generation students at Utrecht University. Once sufficient fund capital has been realised, they can apply for a contribution for various requests for help, such as laptop, training for teaching skills or study or research stays abroad.

More info
Apply for a grant

U-talent UP

You are in 4 vwo and (maybe) want to go to university. This is fun, but also a whole new step. This step can be harder to take if your parents don’t know everything about studying either.

High school

U-Talent UP is the programme for vwo students whose parents did not study (in the Netherlands) at a university or college. In U-Talent UP, you will visit Utrecht University several times during upper secondary school. Together with the other UP pupils, you will get to know studying, different studies and skills that will be useful to you during your studies.

From U-talent UP it is also possible to request a workshop or training on inclusive teaching for teachers.

More info

Honours Trajectum Utrecht

HTU is a programme where ambitious and curious 2nd and 3rd class havo and vwo students.

Students come from affiliated schools in Utrecht for additional education to develop their Dutch language skills and knowledge of the world, to be introduced to science and to improve study skills. With the programme, the HTU wants to contribute to equal opportunities for pupils for whom – because of their socio-cultural or economic background – university would not be an obvious next step.

More info

K.I.C.K. Start UMC Utrecht

K.I.C.K. Start is an additional, two-day start-up programme for all prospective first-year students of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences who need it. 

Are you a prospective student and actually need some more guidance to start your studies with confidence? Would you like more clarity on the new study environment, support options and what is expected of you? To give you a good start to your study time, there is a programme for all first-year students who need it. This will take place in the last week of the summer holidays, just before your programme introduction.

More info