Nuffic data reveals Dutch recruitment diversity

Published 23/03/2018

The international student population in the Netherlands is becoming increasingly diverse and now includes 162 nationalities, the latest Nuffic research has revealed. On average, international students make up 12.2% of the entire Dutch student population.

According to the report, approximately one in four international students come from outside the European Economic Area.

With 22,125 students, Germany remains the main supplier of students to the Netherlands, representing nearly 25% of the total international student population.

“Research universities… are more and more conscious in recruiting on… diversity”

This figure is down from 40% in the 2011-2012 academic year.

China was shown to be in second place with 4,475 students, however, while the number of students with a different nationality is rising.

As a result, the report commented, the Netherland’s international student population is becoming increasingly varied year after year.

The interest in pursuing study programs increased the most among students from Italy (4,077), Romania (2,348), India (2,021), Spain (2,445), France (2,341) and the UK (3,109).

Nuffic also revealed that the number of international students is growing along with the student population at Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences.

Director-general of Nuffic, Freddy Weima, said the knowledge, experience and networks that international students bring from their own countries enable the Netherlands to strengthen the quality of its education.

He added that the current discussion about the ideal number of international students should be conducted in a nuanced way.

“The mix of international and Dutch students varies at each research university and university of applied sciences, depending on the purpose and content of the program,” he explained.

“In the green sector, which was originally oriented towards exporting, the ideal composition may differ from that in the border region where there is more cooperation with neighbouring countries Germany and Belgium.

“Research universities and universities of applied sciences are more and more conscious in recruiting on quality, match with the program and diversity within education.”

A 2018 report by the Class of 2020 revealed that tens of thousands of extra jobs could be created in Dutch cities through internationalisation, but an estimated 124,087 new international student rooms will be needed to meet growing demand.

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