Uptick in international students at Dutch universities

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Dutch universities or universities of applied sciences (HBO) are seeing an uptick in international student enrolment, reported Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The majority of international students enrolled in the country are from Europe. 

The report also said international students in the country were more likely to be enrolled in a bachelor’s programme than a master’s.  

In the 2021-22 academic year, 115,000 students came from abroad; over 42,000 of them studied in the Netherlands for the first time, equivalent to one in four first-year students. 

The report said the proportion of first-year international students at Dutch universities is as high as 40%

Dutch universities

In the 2005-06 academic year, 63% of all international students came from Europe, against 76% in 2021-22, said CBS. Source: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Steady increase in international students at Dutch universities

CBS said the number of international students over the past 16 years has grown more rapidly than the number of domestic students. In the 2021-22 academic year, 115,000 international students were enrolled in higher education — 3.5 times as many as in 2005-06. 

The group of international students in 2021-22 comprised 80,400 university students and 34,800 thousand HBO students; in 2005-06, there were 12,500 international university students and 20,600 international HBO students. 

Since 2017-18, CBS said international students at universities are more likely to be enrolled in a bachelor’s than in a master’s programme. Previously, they were likelier to register with a Dutch university for a master’s.

dutch universities

The number of international first-year students is rising. In 2021-22, about one-quarter of first-year students in higher education were international, said CBS. Source: Torsten Blackwood/AFP

Majority of international students are from Europe

In the 2005-06 academic year, 63% of all international students came from Europe, against 76% in 2021-22. 

A fifth of all international students was from Germany, but the share of German students has declined over the past few years. 

In 2021-22, 19,600 students came from Asia, many of them from China (over 5,000) and India (over 3,000).

While Dutch universities are known for their quality education, previous reports have said that the country has been looking into limiting its intake of international students. Universities want the government to give them the option of capping the number of international students attending some courses for quality control. 

The enrolment of international students in Dutch universities has been an ongoing issue that universities say is overwhelming them.

 





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