Dutch universities see increase in number of international students

Dutch universities see increase in number of international students

While universities in the Netherlands may no longer be actively recruiting international students, figures released by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) show that, after a dip in 2020, Dutch universities are seeing an increase in the number of students from outside of the EU. 

IND sees increase in applications for study permits

According to the IND, the number of applications for study permits for people from outside the EU was significantly higher this summer in comparison to last year, when fewer applications were submitted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Over 15.000 applications were sent into the IND in July 2021 alone - more than the total number received throughout the entirety of 2020 (12.310). 

Most requests are submitted by students from China, India, the United States, Turkey and Indonesia. As a result of Brexit, the Netherlands has also seen an increase in the number of applications from British students. Most international students go on to study at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) or Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).

"The Netherlands is not an island," Pieter Duisenberg, chair of the Association of Universities (VSNU), told the AD. “There is a worldwide trend that students are looking for good quality higher education for relatively little money.”

Can Dutch universities keep up with international demand?

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Dutch universities are struggling to provide in-person teaching in a safe and effective way, while thousands of students across the country also struggle to find appropriate housing in time for the end of the summer holidays. All this begs the question: can the Netherlands cater to this growing demand?

Spokespeople from both UvA and TU Delft emphasised the importance of the coronavirus restrictions, and international students have been informed that many classes will continue to be online. "The Netherlands has rules regarding coronavirus and we want to implement them properly,” TU Delft said. “That means a limited number of people on campus to guarantee safety.”

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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