Dutch universities are increasingly less likely to recruit international students

Dutch universities are increasingly less likely to recruit international students

Almost all universities in the Netherlands have stopped actively recruiting international students. The reason is that Dutch universities are becoming too full. Nevertheless, studying in the Netherlands continues to be a popular choice for students from other countries.

A downward trend in seeking out international students

Journalists from the Financial Dagblad visited 13 universities in the Netherlands to investigate the reason for this downward trend. Overall, the reasons most commonly reported were overcrowded lecture halls, overworked lecturers and housing shortages for students. Instead of actively recruiting students from abroad, the universities have begun to focus on providing information for those already interested in coming to the Netherlands to study.

The Vereniging Samenwerkende Nederlandse Universiteiten (VSNU), which is the main association of cooperating universities in the Netherlands, notes that this trend has been happening for some time. According to a spokesperson from VSNU: "Education is under pressure due to the increasing student numbers. Universities want to keep the quality of education high and reduce the workload of employees, which is now extremely high."

The aforementioned proactive recruitment of students from abroad would normally entail social media campaigns and holding international study fairs abroad, as well as internationally-oriented open days at Dutch higher education institutes.

On the other hand, it is lucrative for a university to have a large volume of international students. The more students a university has, the more money it receives. What's more, introducing a quota on international students would actually be contrary to European law. 

Eindhoven University of Technology still actively recruits internationals

The only Dutch university that is continuing to actively recruit foreign students is the Eindhoven University of Technology. The university hopes to reach 25 percent of internationals in its student body. A spokesperson from Eindhoven said the university is “not yet achieving that percentage for most degree programmes, so there is still room for international intake.”

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

Read more



Leave a comment