A thinktank that includes property developers called for more international students in the Netherlands. According to the thinktank this would result in a booming economy and create tens of thousands of extra jobs in the large cities.
International students are good for the economies of student cities all-round, states thinktank The Class of 2020 in a concise report. After all, more students would create more jobs in the city.
And if those highly educated graduates decide to remain in the Netherlands, that would be even better. International students will add 1.57 billion euros per year to the national coffers according to calculations by internationalisation organisation Nuffic. And they’re good students as well; in general, they attain better marks and graduate faster than Dutch students.
Plenty of reason to bring more international students to the Netherlands, according to The Class of 2020. Currently, there are about eighty thousand international students in the Netherlands but there is space for three times that number.
However, the report does warn that this requires the development of more housing for students. And to achieve this, the Netherlands would have to get rid of a variety of rules for the housing market. ‘The current over-regulation of the market scares off international investors,’ states the report.
And this warning is not unsubstantiated. The Class of 2020 was founded in 2011. This organisation conducts research into the housing market for students and organises conferences. It created a network that is committed to making student housing ‘efficient, international and welcoming’.
The partners include property developers, educational institutes and city leadership officials. The list is made up of the internationalisation organisation Nuffic, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands and the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and also The Student Hotel, Property EU, Casa, Bouwfounds and Xior Student Housing.
‘I recognise what is stated in the report,’ says Ardin Mourik, director of the expertise centre for student housing providers Kences. His organisation is not involved in The Class of 2020. ‘We have also researched the impact of students on the economies of cities.’
Mourik says that it is a well-known fact that the economy of a city will grow if more students move in. ‘Cities like The Hague want to profile themselves as real student cities for a good reason. There are definite opportunities to better profile the Dutch student cities as knowledge cities.’