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Dutch Universities Plan to Admit Fewer Int’l Students In Order to Sustain Quality Education

While the majority of EU member states make welcome plans for skilled workers and new students, higher education institutions in the Netherlands want fewer international students.

According to Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), the government must limit the number of people admitted to the country for study purposes as the quality of education is at risk and the workload is difficult to manage, reports.

The remarks were made by UNL President, Peter Duisenberg and acknowledged by Education Minister, Robbert Dijkgraff, who said he would discuss the issue with Parliament on Wednesday (today). However, Dijkgraff noted that international students “can add value to a Dutch education.”

The alliance agreement includes significant investments in education and academic research. Now we have to use these to reduce the workload and arrange the essentials. Additionally, we are asking politicians to quickly introduce additional options in which universities can control international student numbers in a targeted manner. The numbers of students at universities are expected to continue to rise in the coming years.

In conclusion, the UNL plan unfolds several options such as setting a fixed number of students admitted to the English track within the program of study, setting a maximum number of students from third countries for each study programme, and setting a contingency cap to use if the number of enrollments is increasing.

>> High enrollment rates for international students in the Netherlands – Universities struggle to accommodate everyone

The number of first-time students enrolled in Dutch universities increased by four per cent in 2021, to a total of 340,346. In addition, an additional 80,000 international students were enrolled in the 2021/22 academic year, an increase of 14.2% over the previous year.

According to, the number of international students in the Netherlands increased by 10% in September of 2021 as students became more interested in pursuing their academic career during the COVID-19 pandemic. Commenting on the matter, Dusienberg said it is a global trend for students who are looking for good quality educational options at affordable costs.

Moreover, data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) revealed that the number of student visa applications from students from third countries reached 15,110 by the end of July in 2021, compared to the corresponding time in 2020 when the IND accepted 12,310 visa applications Study, a figure decreased by 40 per cent.

Most applications for the purposes of studying in the Netherlands are submitted by students from China, India, USA, Turkey and Indonesia.

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