European Union (EU)
Europe is gaining in importance when it comes to higher education and research. The further development of the European Higher Education Area (Bologna) and the European Research Area are clear examples of this process. European programmes offer increasing opportunities for collaboration, the facilitation of exchange (students and staff) and investments in knowledge production and economic growth. These developments are also intended to contribute to the position and success of graduates on the European job market. All the above affects circulation of talent: knowledge circulation mainly occurs in Northwestern Europe. This is partially caused by regionally starkly differing levels of youth unemployment.
Investments in higher education and research have greatly increased in regions with upcoming economies, both in terms of public and private investments (ex. Income through tuition fees). Developments in those countries which are currently considered important partner countries for the Netherlands, being the BRICS-countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South-Africa) and the so-called next eleven (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South-Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam), will impact the Netherlands’ competitiveness, as these countries are increasingly competing in the war for talent. At the same time, these partnerships offer new possibilities for cooperation. Competition in the areas of education and research is intensifying, which can also be seen in the rise of new international top universities, in Europe well as elsewhere in the world.