Dutch universities are putting the brake on international students

Student numbers to be decreased

Universities are aiming to reduce the amount of students that come to their university, especially students coming from abroad to study. This is not the first time that universities have aimed to reduce numbers. 13 Dutch universities have come together and decided that this is what they will do. This will then be presented to the education minister and they will explain their plan on slowing student growth.

Universities here in the Netherlands are largely funded according to student numbers. However, as the student population is rising and the university budget has not increased over the past few years, its resulted in there being less money per student. The outcome of this, according to the universities, is to limit the student numbers.

As if studying wasn’t stressful enough 

So how bad is the problem?

We’ve discussed the numbers of foreign students in the past, but there has been a lot of concern around Dutch universities offering loads of different English courses (however, in some cases there have been complaints that the English is not up to scratch). It seems pretty counter productive, considering they wanted to limit the numbers of international students. The main reason for the courses themselves doing this is because they can get a larger share of the budget if they have foreign students. According to NRC, since 2013, students at these Dutch universities has risen from 250,000 to 275,000. In terms of international students, two thirds of these were internationals studying their bachelors and masters. The increase is from 31,000 to 48,000.

More internationals, more money?

As the fees are the same for everyone in the EU, it’s encouraging lots of different nationalities to go to the Netherlands and go onto an English course. Especially as countries such as the USA and the UK have crazy tuition fees. Universities are businesses and therefore everyone is fighting for their share of the money, which causes issues such as these. At the end of it, every student is disadvantaged, as one minute you’re encouraged and then discouraged.

You’ve graduated? You’re luckily out of the woods. With the popularity, there is no wonder everyone wants to study in the Netherlands. Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook group for more Dutch stuff!


Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.



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