The current coronavirus crisis has caused uncertainty on all fronts.
One of the groups of people that have been deeply impacted by this uncertainty are international students, who are not sure if they will come to study in the Netherlands or not for the coming academic year, reports NOS.
Survey conducted on potential students
The international student organization called Nuffic conducted a survey on 941 potential students from outside the European Union.
While a majority of them expressed a desire to come study in the Netherlands, 35% of them expressed doubts about their final decisions. The main factors in the doubts come in the form of limited financial opportunities as well as uncertainty over travel restrictions.
Over the past decade, the number of international students from outside the EU has been gradually increasing. This current academic year there are more than 25,000 international non-EU students currently studying in the Netherlands.
Research by the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis shows that international students are a financial asset for the country. Each student brings 96,300 euros to the country, especially if they also stay after their studies to work. If these students no longer come, this will also have an impact on Dutch universities.
Online classes are not an attractive substitute
Dutch universities are already preparing for an academic year held online, at least for the first semester. Some universities are also considering switching their intake moment from September to February.
The international students surveyed do not see online classes as a viable option, however. Only one in 10 students surveyed said they would prefer online teaching.
Murali, a prospective student from India, says he does not see online classes as an effective replacement for physical classes. “I will not enrol at a Dutch university this year for online courses only. I will postpone it until at least 2022.”
He is certainly not alone in this view. 21% of surveyed students from outside the EU said they would prefer to postpone their studies to the Netherlands for at least another year.
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