University Pioneers

International students

About UP-Community

University Pioneers is a community of UU University that aims at students who are among the first in their family to enter higher education. UP distinguishes itself by offering first-generation students a community consisting of UU students and staff, as well as role models from outside that UU, all of whom are or have been first-generation students. The UP-Community builds on U-talent’s UP programme, which prepares future first-generation high school students for their transition to university and reduces the risk of dropping out in the first year.

The new University Pioneers programme will start in February 2023. In the meantime, take a look at our instagram @eerstegeneratiestudent or contact us via

Students are in control

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. So they too can get the most out of their studies and study time. Further good to know:

  • Membership is free
  • There is no obligation to attend
  • Membership at UP is perfectly compatible with membership of a student or study association
  • For students, staff and alumni!

We are aware that not everyone wants to share his or her story or be labelled a 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.

Contributing to UP

Would you like to contribute to the UP Community? There are several ways to do so. For instance, as a student, alumni or external you can become part of the community as:

An ambassador acts as a role model for first-generation students who has a positive influence on the talent development of first-generation students. For example, an ambassador gives workshops or shares example stories or life experiences for inspiration at large. An ambassador is also the face of the UP programme to the outside world.

A mentor is an accessible point of contact with individual attention for the (prospective) first-generation student and refers to the study advisor, tutor, etc. The mentor shares his/her experiences with regard to the study approach, orientation towards the future and making choices, and ensures the transfer of practical knowledge. The mentor is a person who has an affinity with first-generation students, with whom the student can identify. This identification comes about partly through similarities in terms of personal interests, characteristics and/or preferences (e.g. hobbies, cultural background, field of study, etc.).

*To be a mentor or ambassador for a first-generation student, you yourself do not have to be one of the first in your family to pursue higher education, but it is recommended

If you would like to know more about first-generation students, you can find a list of tips and tricks here by our ambassador Charisma Hehakaya: Advice for first generation university students | Student (

Together with students and students associated with UP, we publish a monthly newsletter about all the fun activities and events for and by first-generation students. In the UP-date, students and pupils regularly share their experiences and interests. Would you like to be informed about all UP events ?

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