Campus 31 May 2023

‘International students incredibly welcome at VU’

President of the executive board Mirjam van Praag is picking up on signals that international students don’t feel welcome here. According to her that’s ‘absolutely not necessary’.

International students are incredibly welcome at VU Amsterdam, says Van Praag. Word has reached the president of the executive board that international students feel unwanted because of the current discussion about the internationalization of Dutch universities. “It’s a shame that this feeling exists, and as far as VU Amsterdam is concerned, it’s absolutely not necessary”, she said during a meeting with the university student council and the staff council.

The subject surfaced because of the letter about internationalization that minister of education Robbert Dijkgraaf sent to the Dutch house of representatives. According to some, there are too many international students, which puts pressure on the housing market, the quality of education and the Dutch language. That is why Dijkgraaf is looking for ways to limit the influx and implement mandatory Dutch classes for international students.

At VU Amsterdam there have also been complaints about many events and gatherings being held in English. The leader of the Vrijmoedige Studentenpartij (outspoken student party), Marlon Uljee, who won two seats at the recent university council elections, refused to speak English during a debate. Because according to him, it was an example of the “far-reaching internationalization here at VU Amsterdam.”

Peter Breedveld
IMAGE: StudioVU/Jacqueline de Haas


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