Number of British Students at Dutch Universities Drops Almost 25%, FiguresShow

Netherlands United Kingdom Europe International Studies by Erudera News Apr 20, 2022

Traditional birthday celebration of King of the Netherlands

Universities in the Netherlands have enrolled fewer British students this year compared to a year ago, international education agency Nuffic figures have shown.

According to Nuffic, the United Kingdom has seen a dramatic drop in the number of its students in the Netherlands, which has dropped by almost 25 percent in 2021/22 compared to the 2020/21 academic year due to Brexit and fee increases.

This year, the number of students from the United Kingdom dropped from 2,372 to 760 students, Erudera reports.

“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 notes.

A 2021 survey conducted by Nuffic on the impact of the COVID-19 on international students’ plans to study in the Netherlands found that over a third of the 54 prospective students from non-EEA countries who planned to study in the UK were more likely to choose the Netherlands as their study destination as a result of Brexit.

Of the 526 participants in the study, only ten respondents coming from EEA countries said that the UK would be an alternative for them to pursue studies in Europe, but eight of them were more likely to enroll at a Dutch university due to Brexit.

The United Kingdom was the 12th most common country sending numbers of international students in the Netherlands but has dropped seven spots since 2018.

In general, during 2021/22, a total of 115,068 international degree students enrolled in Dutch higher education institutions, increasing by 12 percent compared to the previous academic year. Some 32,037 students from non-EEA counties enrolled in an accredited degree program this year, representing almost 28 percent of international students in the country.  

14 percent of all students in Dutch higher education were international in 2021/22, an increase from 13 percent a year ago.

In 2019/20, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, international students in the Netherlands came from 163 countries worldwide, of which only 27 countries sent fewer students to the Netherlands in the 2021/22 academic year.

The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on January 1, 2021. Due to the withdrawal, British students are considered non-EEA citizens and have started to pay non-EEA fees to study in the Netherlands as of the 2021/22 academic year.

As a result of Brexit, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss students have lost their home fee status as of autumn 2021.

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