Internationalisation is important for Dutch higher education
The Netherlands fares well because of its international economy. The international students who are studying today are the CEO’s, researchers and diplomats of the future. The network that they build is vitally important to the Dutch economy and society. Moreover, international students contribute to the international character of their program as well as creating a more ambitious environment. If international students choose to leave the Netherlands after they complete their studies, their network leads to new connections with universities and companies worldwide. The Dutch action plan ‘Make it in the Netherlands’ and the joint Internationalisation Agenda by the Vereniging Hogescholen (Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences) and the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands) aim for the increase of the number of international students who reside and work in the Netherlands after they graduate.
International students contribute to a more ambitious environment in their programme. They tend to graduate more often within the set time for the degree than Dutch students do. More than half of the international international students obtain their bachelor degree within three years, as opposed to close to a third of Dutch students. This goes for the students who started their degree in 2011. The students from this cohort who took the set time (three years) plus two years graduated recently, in 2016.
Number of international students in the Netherlands
As a result of the increased focus on internationalisation, the number of international students in Dutch academic education has been steadily rising over the past ten years. In 2017, 48.507 international students attended a university. This is 18% of the total student population at universities.
Stayrate and the financial contribution
The Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) worked out, commissioned by Nuffic, that 38% of international students who graduated in 2008-2009 still resided in the Netherlands after five years and 27% was employed. Nuffic estimates with the latest CBS-data that at least 25% of international graduates will permamently remain in the Netherlands. In this way, international students contribute to the treasury: about €1,57 billion per year. As such, they clearly contribute tot he Dutch economy.
Country of origin of international students
International students come from all over the world to study in the Netherlands. Most students come from either our neighbouring countries or China. Universities aim to attract more students form other countries as well, for a more diverse student population.