James is an assistant editor at IamExpat, and is the newest member of the team. Interests include tr...
More Brits heading to Dutch Universities29 March 2012, by James Shaw
Dutch universities have made huge strides in recent years to attract more foreign students, particularly native-English speakers, and now their hard work may reap dividends.
The number of British students coming to the Netherlands has increased rapidly, attracted by the Netherlands' low tuition fees, excellent level of English and continental lifestyle.
A sharp increase of tuition fees in England (from 3.000 to 9.000 pounds), has forced some of the prospective students in Britain to look abroad. The Netherlands is well positioned to entice that talent, and to recruit from a population that is traditionally wary of studying outside the UK.
Maastricht University's marketing director, Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans, is eager for more Brits to study there. "The situation in Britain has changed, so we expect a lot more applications this year. People have been forced to look outside [the UK] and now it has snowballed."
The number of Brits studying in Maastricht four years ago was just 18. In 2011-2012 it was 163 students, and is expected to double in the next academic year. The university has always had a large foreign contingent; mainly German and Belgium, but Brits now occupy fourth place and are rising fast.
"We don't see ourselves as providing a solution to a British problem," said Martin Paul, the president of the university. "But we need native speakers. The British students improve the quality in the classroom. So the UK is interesting for us."
Photo by Flickr user Sebastiaan ter Burg
In many Dutch universities, British students look set to become a major part of their student-body, strengthening their international position within the higher-education rankings.
The Netherlands had worked hard to improve their standard of universities on a global level. Recent research shows that many Dutch programmes, particularly Research Masters, are graded highly.
The merits of the Dutch higher education system were further evidenced when five Dutch universities won their position among the world’s elite establishments.
What do Expats think about the changing focus of Dutch Universities?