Survey: Int'l Students Feel Less Welcomed in Netherlands Amidst Plans to Limit Enrollment

Netherlands Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Mar 12, 2024

young woman riding a bike near Dutch Parliament, Netherlands

International students in the Netherlands have voiced concerns about their future following plans to reduce student intake in Dutch universities and increase Dutch-language degrees, saying they are feeling more unwelcome in the country, a new survey has found.

The survey, conducted by Volkskrant, a Dutch daily newspaper, involved 358 students. It revealed that international students are no longer feeling a warm welcome in the country as the lecture halls are overcrowded and accommodation has become insufficient, reports.

However, according to findings, less than half of students still feel welcomed in the Netherlands, but, at the same time, feel uneasy about political discussions and society's targeting of them.

Students say they are unfairly blamed for the housing crisis and other security issues in the country. Some say they have observed a change in attitude from both the locals and Dutch fellow students.

“We are wrongly blamed for all kinds of problems, but we are only scapegoats,” one of the students told the newspaper.

Another student from the United Kingdom told the same source that universities should have emphasized the importance of learning Dutch beforehand. This would have allowed him to start learning it much earlier.

Yet, Many Students Are Happy to Study in the Land of Tulips

Despite their discomfort regarding the situation, the study also found that a significant number of international students have not regretted their decision to study in the Netherlands.

Most of the survey respondents said they are still happy to study in the Netherlands, citing the quality of education provided and English-taught courses as the main factors impacting their decision.

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>> 7 Best Non-Native English-Speaking Countries for International Students in 2024

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS) figures, over 30 percent of international students stayed in the Netherlands after completing their studies in the 2018/19 academic year. In previous years, the figure stood at only 20 percent.

Whether the situation will change and this 30 percent will decrease again will depend, among other things, on further developments and the facilities that will be created or not for international students, who bring a large economic contribution to the Netherlands through their spending.

In the 2021/22 academic year, international students in the Netherlands contributed about € 1.5 billion to the Dutch public finances.

Responding to Volkskrant’s survey, over half of the students unveiled their current plans to remain in the Netherlands, continue their education, and work while in the country.

A report titled “Staying after Graduation” released by Nuffic, the Dutch organization for internationalization in education, notes that 24 percent of international students who graduated from Dutch universities still live in the Netherlands 5 years after graduation.

The same points out that some 32 percent of international students are employed in the Netherlands one year after earning their degrees.

Read Also:

>> Study: Over 80% of International Students Choose to Stay in Netherlands Due to Career Opportunities

Over 122,000 International Students From 160+ Countries Study in the Netherlands

Dutch universities have received an influx of international students in recent years, specifically in the past ten years, with numbers up from less than 54,000 in 2011 to about 122,300 in 2022.

In the 2022/23 academic year, international students accounted for 15 percent of the total number of students attending Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) or a university (WO).

To better control the influx of international students, the Dutch government plans to limit the intake and keep Dutch as the main language of instruction at universities and colleges.

Reports have shown that the number of international students has stabilized, with 220 fewer students enrolled in undergraduate courses.

Read Also:

>> Dutch Universities Collaborate on International Student Intake, Detailed Plans Expected in Mid-March

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