72% Of International Students in Netherlands Are From European Countries

Netherlands Europe Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Apr 21, 2022

Amsterdam summer sunrise, Netherlands

Some 72 percent of university students coming from abroad to pursue a full degree program in the Netherlands are from countries in the European Economic Area, a slight increase from a year earlier, statistics published by international education agency Nuffic show.

According to the annual report of Nuffic named “Incoming degree mobility in Dutch higher education 2021-22”, Germany remains the top source of international students in the country, followed by Italy, Romania, China, and Belgium.

Romania which ranks as the third most common country of origin has jumped 30 percent and has overtaken China compared to previous years. In general, international students in the Netherlands represent a total of 168 countries.

“The number of international students from Poland also grew substantially, with 47% more Polish students enrolled than in 2020-21,” the report highlights.

Differently, the United Kingdom has seen a decrease in the number of its students at Dutch universities in 2021/22 by almost a quarter compared to the last academic year, mainly due to Brexit and fee increases. As a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on January 1, 2021, British students must pay non-EEA fees to study in the Netherlands from the 2021/22 academic year.

According to Nuffic figures, the number of UK students at Dutch higher education institutions has decreased by almost 25 percent in 2021/22.

“In contrast to the growth shown by almost all other countries, the UK saw a large decline in the number of degree students it sent to the Netherlands in 2021-22. Compared to 2020-21, there were almost 25% fewer British students enrolled in Dutch higher education this year,” the report reads.

Overall, some 14 percent of all students pursuing higher education in the Netherlands in 2021/22 were international students, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier.  

The total number of international students in the Netherlands this academic year stands at 115,068, a 12 percent increase from last year. According to Statistics Netherlands, the number of international students at Dutch universities during 2021/22 is 3.5 times higher than in 2005/06. That academic year, only 33,000 international students attended Dutch universities.

Of the 163 countries sending international students to the Netherlands during 2019/20 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 27 sent fewer international students this academic year.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected student mobility in many countries of the world, however, Nuffic data suggest that incoming mobility in the Netherlands was barely interrupted by the pandemic.

The most popular study programs among international students in the country are Bachelor’s programs at research universities.

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