Relatively few Erasmus University students travel abroad supported by an Erasmus grant, with approximately 1 in 12 students seeking adventure. Among Wageningen students this is approximately 1 in 4.
This makes Wageningen University students the frontrunners. Maastricht and Nijmegen are next at numbers 2 and 3. At VU University Amsterdam and Leiden University they leave their comfort zone less often; respectively 1 in 19 and 1 in 20 students.
Erasmus grants are intended for students who follow one or two education semesters abroad or follow an internship there. Figures from EP-Nuffic internationalisation organisation show that, in absolute numbers, the University of Maastricht is the biggest student Erasmus grant user.
But this doesn’t mean that Maastricht students are the most frequent users of Erasmus grants: these are actually students from the small Wageningen University. Calculated per year group, one in four students received an Erasmus grant there, against one in five Maastricht students.
“Our study programmes have a strong international focus and we operate throughout the world,” said Cor Langveld, until recently exchange coordinator at Wageningen University. “The lecturers have many contacts with universities, companies and institutes abroad. And there are many foreign people here. This makes for an international atmosphere that entices many of our Dutch students to go abroad.”
The three technical universities score around the academic higher education average of one in eleven students. There are far fewer students using Erasmus grants from VU University Amsterdam (one in twenty) and Leiden University (one in nineteen).
Frans Snijders from the VU international office confirmed this, but indicated that enthusiasm among students is higher than suggested by the figures. “Almost four hundred students are currently on an exchange or internship in Europe, over a hundred more than last year. As the Erasmus award is based on the previous year’s figures, we are now actually not receiving sufficient funds. Each student still receives a grant, as we make up the difference ourselves.” According to Snijders, the interest among students increased when all VU study programmes started to keep the fifth semester free for exchange.
A remarkable feature in the figures is the large number of Erasmus grants at the University of Aruba. With 102 grants, two in three students go on exchange to Europe.