Maria Duyst van Voorhout, Lady of Renswoude Castle, died in 1754. Maria’s estate contained an enormous fortune and in her will she had directed this fortune to be spent for the education of intelligent male orphans with a minimum age of 15 years, to be selected from the city orphanages of Utrecht, The Hague and Delft. In her will Maria specified to select the most intelligent, shrewd and competent boys and encourage them to study mathematics, drawing, painting or sculpting.
Furthermore physics, road and hydraulic engineering, surveying, instrument making and other technical subjects that were hardly taught systematically in the 18 th century.

At the end of the 19 th century changes took place. Various secondary education institutes were established and there was no need for home education any more. Instead the Fundatie focused on enabling second education, both for boys from the orphanage and for boys from broken homes. Until the middle of the 20 th century these élèves (and that’s how the ‘bursalen’ are still called) were often still interns at the Fundatie building. Nowadays the Fundatie provides grants to young people, male and female students, who are not able to pay for their study costs themselves or who need an allowance to be able to complete their studies. Students of all University studies and Universities of Applied Sciences or students at creative vocational schools are eligible for a scholarship. In The Netherlands we know a system of financing study costs by DUO, Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs.
However there are always situations in which students cannot comply with the regulations, in those cases they can appeal to the Fundatie. The financial support consists of providing a scholarship to the maximum amount of € 1.500,- on a yearly basis.

Criteria for a grant application

  1. In principle it concerns a first study.
  2. There must be a connection with the city of Utrecht (the student is living or studying in Utrecht or surroundings).
  3. In principle the applicant is not younger than 15 years old.
  4. The applicant is pursuing a University study, a study at a University of Applied Sciences or at a creative vocational school. (WO, HBO, MBO)
  5. There must be a financial need and the applicant must have already used existing options as much as possible, such as loans from DUO.
  6. There must be sufficient commitment, evidenced by a letter of recommendation of the student counsellor or a member of the care team of the study.