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Foreign Students Stay and Pay

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 04 February 19 2019

February 2019

Last month, Nuffic published its “Internationalisering in Beeld” with loads of data on internationalisation in the whole education sector in the Netherlands. The publication, unfortunately, is only in Dutch, but the underlying data are available in English at Nuffic’s Facts and Figures webpages. One of the topics is the stay rate of international students after graduation. Nuffic demonstrates that the overall stay rate five years after graduation is still 25% across the board, higher for non-EEA (39%) than for EEA graduates (18%). It also shows that these staying graduates adapt to the labour market: they tend to remain less during the recession and more in high demand sectors. The overall contribution to the Dutch public purse is at least 1640 million euro per year.

Interesting fact about secondary education: of the 653 schools for general secondary education in the Netherlands, no less than 120 (almost one in five) offer bilingual programmes.

The Dutch Centraal Plan Bureau has published a separate analysis of the Stay rate of foreign PhD graduates in the Netherlands. They find that ten years after graduation, 32 per cent of foreign PhD graduates still live in the Netherlands, with even higher stay rates for women, PhDs from less developed countries, and those in technical subjects. These stay rates are less than in the US where these may be up to 62%. The authors of the CPB report offer as possible explanations the difference in size of the country and the research system, but also differences in migration laws and labour marker characteristics.

The authors do not attempt to estimate the contribution that staying PhDs make to the Dutch society or economy. For PhDs, it might be more relevant to determine their contribution to research, innovation & development than just the tax they pay.

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