The abolition of the basic student grant has not led to reduced numbers of first-year students at Dutch universities. This generally appears to be due to an increase in international students.

Although the Universities emphasise that these are preliminary figures, this year, the bachelor’s programme in academic education attracted around the same number of new students as last year. There were fewer pre-university education students but the number of international students increased. Precise numbers are not yet known.

Science study programmes very popular

There is more interest in bachelor’s degree studies in technology (11 per cent growth) and science (9 per cent growth) this year. “This is the result of university, government and business efforts to make science and technology study programmes more attractive”, said the association of universities. Broad-based bachelor’s programmes such as liberal arts & sciences have also grown by the same amount (by 10 per cent) and green study programmes have seen a 2 per cent increase.

Less popular are language & culture (6 per cent fewer first-years), health (5 per cent fewer) and behaviour & society (also 5 per cent fewer). Intakes for economy and law have remained approximately the same.