Universities are increasingly playing a leading role in society and are active partners in the ‘triple helix’ alliance. These alliances are based on the notion that a partnership between academia, industry and government offers a powerful potential for creative innovation and economic development. Successful triple helix alliances provide a powerful impetus for innovation and development for entire regions and are often a part of campus initiatives. During the economic crisis the university campus actually performed quite well, which further underlines the importance of investments in the knowledge economy. The international attraction of new initiatives can help universities to forge links with international industry. The power of these alliances resides in combining the knowledge infrastructure of teaching/research institutions and industry, including across borders.
The current labour market becomes more and more international oriented. The same is true for research networks. The presence of international students plays an important role in the Dutch higher education system. Dutch students obtain experience with different cultures and they improve their English language skills. Universities create a international classroom with a more ambitious study climate and expand their international networks.
Research of Nuffic shows that 38% of all international students remain in the Netherlands five years after they have completed their study. International students have a positive effect on the GDP estimated of €1.570 million a year. International students who return to their home country play an important role in establishing new collaborations for Dutch enterprises.