The Hague, 18 March 2022 / EZPress / – More and more foreign students are enrolling in Dutch colleges and universities. This increase also continued during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the academic year 2021 / ’22, 115 thousand students came from abroad. More than 42 thousand of them studied for the first time in the Netherlands, which is 1 in 4 first-year students. At universities, even 40 percent of first-year students are not from the Netherlands. This is shown by new figures from Statistics Denmark.
Over the last sixteen years, the number of international students has increased more than the number of Dutch students. By 2021 / ’22, 115,000 international students were enrolled in higher education. That is 3.5 times as many as in 2005 / ’06, when there were 33 thousand. This is 80.4 thousand international students at the universities and 34.8 thousand hbo students in 2021 / ’22, compared to 12.5 thousand international students at the universities and 20.6 thousand hbo students in 2005 / ’06. Since 2017 / ’18, international students at universities are more often enrolled in a bachelor’s degree than a master’s degree. Before that, they often came to Holland to take a master’s degree.
Quarter of first-year students from abroad
The number of international first-year students is steadily increasing. In 2021 / ’22, about a quarter of first-year higher education students were international. The proportion of international first-year students at the university was almost 40 percent. The increase in the number of international first-year students continued in the academic year 2020 / ’21 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In the academic year, education was mainly conducted online, which may explain the absence of a decline in the number of international students despite travel restrictions in many countries.
The number of Dutch first-year students increased in the academic year 2020 / ’21. That year, there was a high percentage of graduates in the youth educations, and there was less opportunity for an intermediate year abroad due to the pandemic. In the academic year 2021 / ’22, the number of Dutch first-year students was again approximately equal to the number before the pandemic.
Most international students from Europe
In particular, the total number of international students coming from Europe has increased significantly in recent years. In 2005 / ’06, 63 percent of all international students came from Europe, in 2021 / ’22 it was 76 percent. One fifth of all international students came from Germany (24.5 thousand students). The proportion of German students has fallen in recent years. In 2009 / ’10, for example, almost half of the international students still had German citizenship. The proportion of students coming from other European countries has increased. In 2021 / ’22, 19.6 thousand students came from Asia, of which a large number came from China (more than 5 thousand) and India (more than 3 thousand).
International university students often study behavior and society
Among Dutch students, courses in law, administration, trade and business services were the most popular in 2021 / ’22, both in higher education and at university. International HBO students were also the most frequently enrolled in these studies this year. In addition, studies in design, art and language were popular among international HBO students. International students at the university most often studied journalism, behavior, and society.
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