Visa Crunch

Netherlands: Dutch Universities See A Sharp Increase In International Student Numbers

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), international student enrollment at Dutch universities or universities of applied sciences (HBO) is increasing. The vast majority of international students studying in the country are from Europe.

According to the survey, international students in the country are more likely to be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree programme than a master’s degree programme. In the 2021-22 academic year, 115,000 students from other countries arrived to study in the Netherlands for the first time; almost 42,000 of them were first-year students, accounting for one in every four.

As per the survey, the proportion of first-year overseas students at Dutch universities can reach 40%. According to CBS, the number of overseas students has increased faster than the number of domestic students during the last 16 years. 115,000 overseas students were enrolled in higher education during the 2021-22 academic year, which was 3.5 times the number in 2005-06.

In 2021-22, there will be 80,400 university students and 34,800 HBO students; in 2005-06, there were 12,500 international university students and 20,600 international HBO students. Since 2017-18, CBS has reported that international students at universities are more likely to be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree programme than a master’s degree programme. Previously, they were more likely to enrol in a master’s programme at a Dutch university.

In the 2005-06 academic year, Europe accounted for 63 per cent of all overseas students, compared to 76 per cent in 2021-22. Germany accounted for one-fifth of all international students, but the proportion of German students has been declining in recent years. In 2021-22, 19,600 students came from Asia, with the majority (almost 5,000) coming from China and India (over 3,000).

Although Dutch institutions are regarded for providing high-quality education, earlier reports indicate that the government is considering reducing the entry of international students. Universities want the government to allow them the option of regulating the number of overseas students who attend certain courses in order to provide quality management.

Enrollment of international students in Dutch universities has long been a source of concern, with universities reporting that it has reached crisis proportions.

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