340,700 Students Enroll at Dutch Universities in 2021/22 Academic Year


Some 340,700 Bachelor and Master students, 23 percent of whom are international students, have enrolled at Dutch universities during the 2021/22 academic year, a four percent increase from the previous year.

According to the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), this percentage is similar to what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.

Out of the total 80,000 international students, 60,000 come from countries within the European Economic Area (EEA), while the remaining 20,000 are from outside the EEA, Erudera.com reports.

The President of the VSNU, Pieter Duisenberg, said that the continual increase in student numbers has put more pressure on universities and quality of education they offer.

“The numbers partly relate to international students, which is why we have been asking for instruments to manage the influx of international students since 2018,” Duisenberg said.

According to provisional figures, the intake of pre-university (VWO) students in Bachelor’s programs has decreased by 14 percent compared to a year earlier, but the intake of VWO students is more stable compared to levels before COVID-19.

Among others, VSNU said that 29 percent of students, who have started a Bachelor’s degree are international students, an increase from 24 percent over the past two academic years.

Duisenberg believes that internationalization contributes to the quality of education at universities in Netherlands; however, he added that there is a limit to the ability of universities to accommodate the many international students as well as to provide high-quality Dutch education.

“That is why we have been asking the government to provide management instruments – to make the influx more manageable for the degree programmes – since 2018. It’s high time that we got them,” Duisenberg stressed.

VSNU also noted that although the number of students has doubled since 2000, the funding per student provided by the government, has decreased by 25 percent and continues to decrease despite the increase in student numbers.

Duisenberg called on the parties to participate in the formation of the next government to implement without delay what they have set out in their document, that the investment in Dutch education and research is urgently needed.

In September, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has announced that the number of international students at Dutch universities has increased by 10 percent in the new academic year, after the decrease that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IND said that the majority of students applying to universities in the Netherlands come from China, India, Turkey, the United States, Turkey, and Indonesia.

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