Here’s how the Dutch plan to restrict foreign student numbers

What's in store for international students? ๐Ÿ‘€

Limiting the number of international students at universities in the Netherlands has been a hotly-debated topic for quite a while now โ€” but here’s how the Dutch actually plan to go about things. ๐Ÿ‘‡

The hottest topic at the moment is Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf’s proposed Internationalisation in Balance Act.

The bill outlines various possible solutions to curb the growth of foreign students, the most important of which are listed below. ๐Ÿ‘€

Capping student numbers

In a letter to the Senate last month, Dijkgraaf pointed out the importance of introducing a numerus fixus on popular foreign-language courses.

What is a numerus fixus?

This is a quota on the number of students who will be accepted to popular degree programmes at Dutch universities.

In a bid to keep university education more accessible to countless Dutch students vying for a place amid the surge in international student numbers, many English-language courses may face quota restrictions.

READ MORE | 5 things to know about the Dutch student housing crisis

However, noting that the Netherlands “cannot do without international talent, whether for science, the labour market or the quality of the programmes themselves”, Dijkgraaf stresses that this isn’t an all-or-nothing decision.

Individual institutions will need to weigh the importance of numeri fixi and establish if “less drastic measures” could be implemented instead.

Promoting the Dutch language

With legal obligations to promote language skills to Dutch-speaking students faltering โ€” and 7 in 10 foreign students expressing frustration at the language barrier when entering the job market โ€” it’s clear that something needs to be done.

READ MORE | How to learn Dutch: the ultimate guide (by people who learned!)

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for us internationals.

In response to their findings, the government also intends to make educational institutions prioritise the promotion of Dutch language skills. (Yes, even to us internationals. ๐Ÿฅณ)

This could make Dutch language courses more accessible to internationals, which we’ll never say no to!

What do you think of the new bill? Shoot us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Liana Pereira ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Liana Pereira ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Liana juggles her role as an Editor with wrapping up a degree in cognitive linguistics and assisting with DutchReview's affiliate portfolio. Since arriving in the Netherlands for her studies in 2018, she's thrilled to have the 'write' opportunity to help other internationals feel more at home here โ€” whether that's by penning an article on the best SIMs to buy in NL, the latest banking features, or important things to know about Dutch health insurance.


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