Dutch Universities: International Students Can Still Study at Research Institutions

Netherlands Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Feb 15, 2024

Amsterdam, Netherlands

14 Dutch universities have collectively agreed to take measures to manage international student intake. However, universities say international students are still eligible to enroll at a research university.

Ruben Puylaert, spokesperson for Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), said that international students will still have the opportunity to study in the Netherlands, but they should know that fewer Bachelor’s programs will be offered in English.

“It remains possible for international students to come to the Netherlands to study at a Dutch research university, but the proportion of English-taught bachelor programmes will decrease,” Puylaert told Erudera News.

He said that universities will directly communicate with prospective international students themselves but did not disclose more information on whether there will be any facilitations for these students following the decision to reduce English-taught programs.

On Thursday, February 8, 14 Dutch universities, members of the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) announced they would “be taking their own measures” to manage the influx of international students in a bid to balance the benefits and challenges that come with internationalization.

Additionally, universities agreed to increase the amount of Dutch-taught programs while pausing new Bachelor’s programs in English.

Last spring, the education ministry presented plans to better manage international student numbers, sparking concerns among students. UNL recently reported that the number of international students enrolling in Bachelor's programs has decreased, with around 220 fewer students starting this academic year.

Institutions acknowledge the importance of the “much-needed talent for the labor market” but say the growth is also leading to certain challenges that need addressing, such as insufficient student accommodation in some areas.

“We expect that, with these measures, the influx of international students will decrease,” Puylaert said.

The Netherlands is among the most popular countries for students from around the world. The number of international students choosing to study in the country has tripled in the past ten years.

According to Statistics Netherlands, nearly 123,000 international students chose Dutch universities in the 2022/23 academic year. In other words, international students make up 15 percent of all students in the country.

In 2006, the Netherlands recorded an enrollment of only 31,500 international students.

Data indicate a third of international students remain in the Netherlands after graduation. The employment of international students one year after graduation depends on their field of study, with data showing those who majored in computer science, education, and technology are often employed within the period.

Statistics Netherlands shows students enrolled at Dutch universities in the 2022/23 academic year totaled 342,516, while the number of those pursuing higher professional education reached 421,088.

According to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis CPB, international students’ net contribution has reached nearly €17,000 per European student and up to €96,000 per student from outside the European Economic Area.

Netherlands universities are state-funded and divided into research universities and universities of applied sciences, 14 and 41, respectively.

Related links:

>> Dutch Education Council Suggests Govt to Reconsider Plans to Reduce Int’l Student Numbers

>> Netherlands Ranks No. 1 for English Proficiency Globally: 90% Surge in Google Searches for Studying in the Country

Image by Rico Schwab from Unsplash

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