While all of us are affected by the current coronavirus crisis, some categories of people are more gravely impacted than others.
One of these categories is international students, especially those outside the EU. While universities are preparing for a new academic year with potentially completely online classes, there are concerns that for international students, that might not be enough to make them come, reports NOS.
Online experience only is not worth it
Murali, a student from India, said that he is not going to enroll to a Dutch university for this year, as online courses alone are not worth it.
He wanted to apply to a technical university, but he believes that only doing online courses will not give him the knowledge he seeks. This is especially because he would miss out on all practice that occurs within a laboratory.
Bernand from South Africa has similar doubts about registration, especially because a big part of his desire to come is related to experiencing the Netherlands. Doing a university year online would defeat this purpose.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science expects fewer international students to apply. Not only is there a problem of maybe doing online courses only, but given the current travel restrictions, it’s not certain if and how can the students come to the Netherlands. Applying for a visa will be difficult, and things like English tests are also complicated, as many testing centres are closed.
Finances play a huge role
Nuffic, a Dutch organization dedicated to the internationalization of education, considers that finances are a huge deterrent for international students. Parents have run into financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis and it is also more difficult to take out loans and grants from the government.
To overcome this, some universities like the University of Twente will treat tuition fee payments more leniently, hoping that international students will simply register for online courses if it comes to that. According to the head of Student Affairs at the University of Twente, it would be a shame for international students not to come, as that would ruin the international atmosphere that the University thrives on.
Should Dutch universities be more lenient with their fees in order to attract more international students? Let us know in the comments!
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