Record expected to the broken

Number of students from outside Europe rises in the Netherlands

grafiek aantal studieaanvcragen per maand 2022 2023 Bron: IND
Number of applications per month in 2022 and 2023. Source: IND

Between January and July, the IND received 17,870 visa applications from prospective students from countries that do not belong to the European Economic Area — more than 1,200 more than in 2022. In a statement, the IND informs that 98 percent of them were granted a residence permit. Most of these students are from China, India, the United States, Turkey and Indonesia. 

Politically charged
The internationalisation of higher education has been a rather sensitive issue in the Netherlands lately, due to overcrowded lecture halls, a shortage of rooms to rent and problems regarding students’ language proficiency. Research universities seem particularly attractive to international students.

The outgoing Miniser of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf came up with a proposal on how to deal with the rising influx of foreign students, ahead of the cabinet collapse. The idea is to better coordinate the intake of international students better without closing the borders to them altogether.

Language policy is a particularly sensitive topic, which has become more and more politically charged. Some parties, such as the recently-created Nieuw Sociaal Contract, believe that Bachelor’s programmes should be taught in Dutch, for the most part.

Abiding by the law
It was never the intention for so many degree programmes to be taught in another language, Robbert Dijkgraaf (D66) admitted earlier this year. But he also indicated that there isn't much he can do as a minister — after all, universities are abiding by the law. Furthermore, he stressed his intention to make agreements about internationalisation with administrators in the higher education sector. Now, he may well leave this to the next Cabinet.

Last academic year, about 5,600 Chinese students and 3,500 students from India were residing in the Netherlands but most international students come from other European countries (particularly from Germany). Almost 23,000 Germans were studying in the Netherlands last year. Italy was a distant runner-up with 7,600 students.

For the second time, the IND will be asking students attending institutions all over the country to pick up their residence permits at the same location — namely, Jaarbeurs square, in Utrecht. There will be two opportunities to pick up your permit: one on Saturday, September 2, and another one on October 7, also a Saturday.