Last academic year, Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences welcomed over 58 thousand foreign students. This was yet again an increase, but the Netherlands nevertheless lags behind the European average.
In 2012-2013 almost nine per cent of the total number of students completing their studies here originated from a foreign country. 8.8 per cent to be exact, just below the EU average of 8.9 per cent. These figures were presented in the latest report by the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education, Nuffic.
Growth at university of applied sciences level has somewhat slowed down: as in the previous year, almost seven per cent of students came from abroad. On the other hand, in university education the proportion of foreign students has increased a little: from 11.3 per cent in
2011-2012 to 12.2 per cent a year later.
For many years now, most foreign students are originally from Germany (43 per cent), but for the first time ever, in the year 2012 slightly fewer of our neighbours to the east came over to study in our country. This is, however, amply compensated by the increase in Greek and British students studying in the Netherlands. The foreign student population is becoming increasingly diverse: you will now find more and more Brazilian, South Korean, Russian and Mexican students cycling around Maastricht or Amsterdam.
According to Nuffic, the number of students temporarily staying in the Netherlands but not obtaining a degree here, is shrouded in mystery. It is therefore unclear how many students come here to do a work placement or to take a six-month minor, for instance. Another fact that is interesting to note is that these figures only cover publicly funded higher education. They do not cover foreign students in private education institutions.
The government welcomes all foreign students with open arms. The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis once calculated that students who remain in the Netherlands following graduation generate millions of euros for the Dutch economy. Minister of Education Bussemaker has taken the lead by launching the promotional campaign ‘Make it in the Netherlands’.