Dutch Universities Experience Slower Growth in International Student Numbers

Netherlands Europe International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News May 10, 2023

Buildings in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Higher education institutions in the Netherlands have recorded notably slower growth in international students in the academic year 2022/23.

According to data from Nuffic, an organization for internationalization in education, although the number is still up by seven percent, the increase is smaller compared to 10 or 12 percent in previous years, Erudera.com reports.

In total, there are 122,287 international students from 167 countries at Dutch universities and colleges this academic year, accounting for 15 percent of all degree students. That is 8,032 more international degree students than in the 2021/22 academic year.

“In 2022-2023, 15 percent of all students in Dutch higher education are international, up from 13.7 percent in 2021-22. This is partly due to the reduced number of Dutch students in higher education in the Netherlands this year; a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to last year,” the report by Nuffic points out.

Of all international students, the vast majority are attending research universities, while 36,682 have enrolled at a university of applied sciences. Nearly 43 percent of international students follow a research university (RU) bachelor, and over one in four international students are enrolled in a master’s program at a research university.

Intl Students in the Netherlands

The majority of international students in the Netherlands in 2022/23, a total of 88,265 students, are from countries within the European Economic Area (EEA). They represent 72.3 percent of all international university students. This figure, according to data, is similar to last year’s 72.6 percent.

“This year, there are 33,816 international degree students from outside the EEA, accounting for 27.7% of the international degree student population in the Netherlands,” the report notes, adding that students from outside the EEA represent 27.7 percent of all students in the country, a total of 33,816 students.

7 Countries of Origin of Intl Students in the Netherlands (1)

On the other hand, the number of domestic students at Dutch universities has declined since 2021/22. This year, 215,180 new entrants started university, a 6.3 percent decrease from the previous year. The report states that one of the possible reasons behind this drop could be students deferring studies expecting the return of the basic student grant.

Authorities in the Netherlands said they would be taking measures to control international student numbers at the country’s universities to prevent overcrowded classrooms and excessive workloads for lecturers, among other things.

At the beginning of this month, a spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Education told Erudera that Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf is taking steps to manage international student intake in the Netherlands; however, “he doesn’t have a specific figure in mind” regarding the number of students that will be allowed to study in the country in the future.

>> Dutch Colleges Attracted Over 85,000 International Students in Fall 2022

image source: Sávio Félix | Unsplash

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