Sandra is doing her internship at the IND Information and Analysis Centre (INDIAC Department). She took part in the research on the need for labour migration of third-country nationals in the Netherlands.
Sandra is currently completing her master's programme International Relations at University Utrecht. She has always been interested in migration. "It has actually been a constant hot topic during my studies. Almost every day you can read something about refugees, or there are discussions about asylum seekers and migration." Sandra wrote a thesis on the European migration policy during her bachelor's programme European Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
She did not have to think long to decide where she wanted to do her graduation project for her master's programme. Sandra: After all the theory, I really wanted to gain some practical experience in the field of the implementation of the migration policy. "Unfortunately, there were no vacancies for internships at the IND at that time." However, when Sandra had sent an unsolicited application, she soon received a phone call from the department of Research and Analysis from the IND. "It was a pleasant conversation", Sandra says, "They had a concrete project that seemed interesting to me." And not very long after, she could start.
"At Research and Analysis you get all the space you need to develop your own initiatives", Sandra says. She had consultations with various departments of the IND and cooperating organisations. She, for example, attended an asylum interview, and spent a day at the IND Desk. Sandra also visited the border control of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee at Schiphol. "All these visits made me realise even better what migration policy exactly means", she says.
During her graduation project, Sandra carried out a research from the European Migration Network (EMN), which in the Netherlands is placed with the IND. EMN collects and analyses information to support European policy development. Sandra: "We researched if there is a need in the Netherlands to deploy migrants from outside the EU to solve the shortage on the Dutch labour market." "Dutch migration policy, namely, primarily focuses on highly skilled migrants when it involves migrants from outside the EU. And it seems that this is sufficient. At this moment there are no further shortages on the national labour market that calls for labour migration."
Sandra: "But maybe this is different in the other EU Member States. Our research was part of a comparative research within the entire European Union. The reports of the participating Member States will eventually be compiled into an EU-wide comparative synthesis report." The report will shortly be published on the website of the EMN.
According to Sandra she has learned a lot from her graduation project at the IND. "I am treated the same way as other staff members of the department. This is very good, but it also means working hard." She also attended a European meeting of the EMN in Brussels. "That was the highlight of my graduation project, Sandra says. "All those representatives of the Member States, all those interpreters, very impressive. Such a meeting, off course, is very formal, yet at the same time, everyone is approachable and open for small conversation."
It has inspired her.
"When I finish my master's programme, I will try to get a traineeship at the EU." Possibly something related to migration?" She does not know yet.
"And I do not want to get ahead of myself too much, I still have a thesis to write", she laughs.