Will international students still come to the Netherlands?

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!

Feature Image: Paseidon/Pixabay

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.


  1. University Groningen have not formally communicated classes will be online only in future or for next semester. Believe once govt relaxes curbs classes will be held normally. If there is intention of University to conduct classes only online hope they communicate early.

  2. The recent surge in fees for Technical education in the Netherlands particularly, is unwarranted especially when better ranked universities in Germany offer much affordable fee structures as well as job opportunities post graduating from university. Now with the covid situation, this has become even more unattractive, especially paying this kind of fees for an online class. The Dutch government needs to relook at the situation and provide some solace to existing students and attractive features to future students.

  3. I’m from wittemborg university , Apeldoorn and I’m a first semester bachelor business student and I paid them 8500 euros tution fees and tjis online classes are not doing even 10% of justice to it. So , Its my request from the dutch govt. that they should come up with a solution such as halving the tuition fees for us.

  4. Dutch government need to be very lenient with the tuition fee. Income of majority of people are being affected. This will encourage international students to still come.

  5. Yes. Totally. The fees should definitely be relaxed in all Universities world wide. This is a global Pandemic and people all over the world have been affected. If the fees are not brought down it will be very difficult for international students to attend.


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