A Third of Int'l Students Stay to Work in the Netherlands After Graduation, Figures Reveal

Netherlands Europe International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Sep 18, 2023

Student in UK Working While Studying

The number of international students graduating from Dutch universities has increased significantly over the past 17 years, and a considerable number of them choose to stay in the Netherlands after graduation.

Figures from the national statistics agency, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) have revealed that in the 2018/19 academic year, some 32 percent of international students were living and working in the country one year after completing their studies. The proportion has increased compared to the previous years, Erudera.com reports.

“In the 2006/’07 academic year, almost 3 thousand international students left university education with a (post) master’s degree. That was 11 percent of all graduates in that academic year. In the 2019/’20 academic year, more than 12 thousand international university students obtained a university master’s degree in the Netherlands. This was almost a third of the number of graduates,” CBS’s report points out.

But, the same indicates that the number of international graduates at Dutch universities who remain in the country differs depending on their chosen field of study.

Figures show about a third of international students earned a master’s degree in the field of law, administration, trade and business services. The field was the most popular among international students, followed by journalism, behavior and society (such as psychology), as well as technology, industry and construction (including architecture).

Int'l Alumni Staying to Work in the Netherlands in 2018_19, by Field of Study (1)

Differently, fewer international students earned a diploma in healthcare and welfare, while more international students earned a diploma in a technical field than local students (16 compared to 9 percent).

CBS reveals that most alumni who find jobs in the Netherlands one year after studies are graduates in the services field, for example, supply chain management, followed by those in computer science and education.

Nearly 123,000 international students were enrolled at Dutch educational institutions in the 2022/2023 academic year, accounting for 15 percent of the total student population. Most of these students (93,410) came from Europe, mostly from Germany. A significant number, 21,130 came from Asia, 5,260 from South and North America, 2,230

More than two-thirds of all international students in 2022/23 were enrolled at a university, with 43 percent pursuing a bachelor’s degree. A total of 52,370 international students were pursuing a university (WO) bachelor’s degree program compared to 167,140 Dutch students.

In an effort to reduce the number of international students in the country, the Dutch government is planning to limit English-language courses at universities.

Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf has already announced a new plan, under which universities will be asked to teach at least two-thirds of annual bachelor’s credits in Dutch from the 2025/26 academic year onwards.

>> Analysis: International Students in the Netherlands Are Interested in Science Education

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