Dutch universities are drawing more international students. Nine percent of all students came from abroad during the 2008-2009 academic year, a strong increase of a percent, which mostly the Germans can be credited for. University colleges draw fewer internationals, 6.5 percent last year. 

With 5077 foreign students, or forty percent, Maastricht University had the largest share of internationals in 2008-2009. Erasmus University comes ninth with thirteen percent, or 1546 internationals, doing an entire programme. The ratios were even higher at two leading arts academies. At Codarts University for the Arts in Rotterdam 46 percent were internationals and at Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie 43 percent were internationals.

As far as the make up of the international student population is concerned, the Germans take the lead with nineteen thousand or 42 percent. Students with other nationalities come in much smaller numbers, such as the Chinese with 3460 students in second place, and the Belgians with 2145 students in third place. France, the UK and Spain all have more than eight hundred students in Holland. Behavioural and social sciences are popular among internationals, as well as economics, agricultural science, medical study programmes and the arts academies.

Exchange students are not included in these numbers as they remain enrolled with their own universities abroad during their exchanges. The figures were released by the Education Ministry in its latest ‘Internationalisation Monitor’

Curiously, despite the one percent growth figure, Holland dropped from ninth place to eleventh place in the European internationalisation rankings. Yet the European figures are not very reliable, which is much to the frustration of internationalisation organisation Nuffic.

Holland’s low ranking is partially based on the percentage of outgoing students, but the data of 2005-2006 were used. At that point this was 2.4 percent, well below the current European average of 2.8. But, the Education Ministry adds that in some countries the figures of outgoing students are higher perhaps as a result of poor education standards in these countries. Countries with a high score should therefore not necessarily be happy with this. HOP