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Taking or Making our Study Places?

VU International News and Reviews No. 109 March 26 2018

March 2018

The Dutch Nuffic has published its data and analysis on “Incoming student mobility in Dutch higher education 2017-2018”. It shows that this year, a record number of over 122 000 international students study in Dutch higher education – for a full degree programme (over 75%) or for an exchange period. International enrolment in degrees rose by 9.3% since last year. Maastricht University remains the university with the highest number of international students in the Netherlands, followed by the University of Amsterdam and the University of Groningen. Amsterdam has most international students, but still a modest proportion of its total student population compared to Maastricht and Groningen. The Nuffic data show that degree mobility has more than doubled since 2006. It also shows that – it would discount the huge numbers of German students in Maastricht, we would see a very balanced spread of students from mainly European countries, and China and the US.

The report signals the recent questions in the Netherlands about all these international students “taking our own students’ places and forcing them to follow English taught programmes”. It fails to note how many Master’s programmes would shut down and not be available for Dutch students at all if the international students wouldn’t keep them populated and thus keep the Dutch Higher Education at its present strength.

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