Independent journalism about VU Amsterdam | Since 1953
17 July 2024

Science
& Education

Slightly fewer international students at universities

Around one in three first-year students at Dutch universities is from abroad, final figures show. There are slightly fewer of them than before.

“It would appear the discontinuation of recruitment abroad and warnings about limited student housing are bearing fruit”, says Jouke de Vries, President of Universities of the Netherlands.

Compared to last year, 220 fewer international students started a Bachelor’s programme. These final figures indicate there are 18,594 of them. They represent 31 percent of the total intake.

For years there has been unrest in the House of Representatives because of the anglicisation of higher education and the influx of foreign students. The minister is preparing a bill on the subject and agreed with the universities that they would stop recruiting.

Master’s programmes

The Master’s programmes are also seeing a decrease, but only for the internationals that came to the Netherlands specifically to do their Master’s. There are 1,700 fewer of those than last year.

But there are also other international students, who’ve obtained their Bachelor’s diploma here and continue with a Master’s. That’s also a considerable group. As a result, the total number of international first-year Master’s students has still increased by 550.

Per university

Nation-wide, the Bachelor’s programmes have drawn eight hundred fewer first-years than last year. But numbers vary significantly per university. Maastricht, for example, has grown by ten percent, whereas Tilburg has had to endure a decline of eight percent.

All in all, the number of students starting a Master’s programme has increased by two percent, to 52.5 thousand. International students account for 33 percent.

Surprisingly, Tilburg boasts the highest relative Master’s growth of all universities: twelve percent. On the other side of the spectrum, the University of Groningen has seen a drop in first-years Master’s students of seven percent.

Translation: Taalcentrum-VU

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