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The Netherlands: 1 in 10 students is international

Figures from 2014-2015 show that one in ten students on Dutch higher education campuses were international. According to statistics from the centre for the internationalisation of education in the Netherlands, EP-Nuffic, the number of international students in the country reached nearly 90,000 last year, up from 70,389 the previous year.

Kinderdjik in the Netherlands. Photo: Marina Neklyudova

Total numbers are up 70% on 2006's 41,160 students

European students account for the majority of the foreign student population (56,288), led by German students who make up almost a quarter (24,000) of the total. China however provided the second largest portion of students, 6,642, while non-European students overall reached 22,802.

An additional 10,298 students came to the Netherlands through the Erasmus programme.

German students make up almost a quarter of total enrolments

Looking at levels of study, 71.3% of international students came for their bachelor’s degree with the remaining 28.7% for their master’s.

The increase in international students reflects a decade-long trend in the Netherlands of four to seven percent annual growth of foreign enrolments. Total numbers are up 70% on 2006’s 41,160 students.

Freddy Weima, chairman of EP-Nuffic, said international students “provide an international classroom in our higher education” and added that they “are good for our economy if they remain attached to the Netherlands and they appear often as ideal ambassadors for our country after their studies.”

A recent study by the European University Association shows international numbers are increasing across the region, especially among non-EU students mostly thanks to increased international recruitment efforts and a stronger emphasis on widening participation and access.

EP-Nuffic also recently developed an interactive web tool that will allow any user in the world to access statistics of international students in Dutch higher education. Data can be broken down by source country to look at domestic education figures as well as inbound mobility numbers to the Netherlands.

“The data can be supplemented with information from primary, secondary and senior secondary vocational education institutions, and will allow for more accurate analysis of sector-wide trends,” commented Weima.

“We can also provide greater insight into specific themes, such as capacity development, credential evaluation, and economic and demographic developments.”


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