How many international graduates find a job in the Netherlands?

Photo: Pixabay

“A third of international students working in the Netherlands”, read a headline by Statistics Netherlands (CBS in the Dutch acronym) published last week. “One year after graduation, a third of students from the 2018/2019 academic year were living and working in the Netherlands”, the article explained.

As it turns out, this is only true for graduates who obtained a Master’s degree from a research university. There were almost 11,000 international Master’s students in the 2018/2019 academic year. A year after they graduated, 3,400 had found employment in the Netherlands.

New figures
Now, just a week later, CBS has published the figures for the subsequent academic year (2019/2020). Of that cohort, 30 percent stayed for work – about the same as the year before.

The figures for Bachelor's graduates from universities of applied sciences show a slightly different picture: of the 3,830 international graduates, 870 found work in the Netherlands. That’s 23 percent, almost double the figure for 2012/2013, when only 12 percent ended up staying.

Picture: HOP. Source: CBS

CBS can only speculate as to why so many international students are suddenly staying here for work. It could be the result of the pandemic, with some graduates perhaps deciding to stay because there was no point in going home due to the lockdown measures.

“An alternative theory is the supply shortage in the labour market”, CBS spokesperson Tanja Traag suggested. “In that case, we would expect this high proportion to be maintained or perhaps even to continue growing.” Time will tell. For now at least, the new figures for 2019/2020 do not yet show a sharp drop.

Incidentally, international graduates are staying in the Netherlands longer than before, especially if they have a Master’s diploma. It remains to be seen how many of the graduates from the recent peak years end up leaving after all.

HOP. Source: CBS