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January 2018

The Netherlands 'should control the influx of international students'

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The Netherlands should put a brake on international student recruitment, according to University of Amsterdam rector Karen Maex, Federica Tedeschi writes.

The country saw an 8 per cent growth in international student numbers this year with the majority coming from other EU nations.

International students from both the EU and outside now make up 15 per cent of enrolments at Amsterdam University and the figure is closer to 25 per cent for new undergraduates, according to the rector.
“You can imagine that this growth produces considerable challenges as well as some pressing questions”, she said during a speech which was widely reported in the international press.

Dr Maex stressed that pressure on student housing is rising while the availability of places for Dutch students has fallen. Places cannot be reserved for locals as students from other EU countries have exactly the same rights in terms of admissions and fees, as Dutch nationals.

She also highlighted the danger of overrelying on English medium instruction. She called for the university to set learning objectives for Dutch as well as for English programmes, and offer a portfolio of Dutch and English medium modules.
‘So we can continue to mould ourselves, over the next decade, into a bilingual, internationally oriented and culturally integrated university”, Dr Maex stressed.

The rector has sought the help of Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven, to come up with a plan to control the influx, according to a report in the Het Parool newspaper. Introducing admission interviews and providing good information about the housing market are both on the agenda.


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