In the coming years, Erasmus University will focus on recruiting students from India, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom. Several hundred thousand euros will be made available for this project.

Students from all four countries can currently be found Bachelor and Masters programmes in Rotterdam, but their numbers remain low: between 25 and 100 annually. According to Trika Harms zum Spreckel of the project office for internationalisation, this is one of the reasons these countries were selected: ‘We would like to increase diversity on campus so that’s why we didn’t want to limit ourselves solely to countries such as Germany or China. But the chosen countries have to demonstrate they have potential’.

Advertising in the same language

According to Harms zum Spreckel, India has a great deal of potential: ‘More and more Indian students go abroad. Programmes such as mechanical engineering are very popular there, but an increasing number of Indian students are interested in business programmes. And tuition fees in the Netherlands compare very favourably to the fees in the currently most popular destination for Indian students: the United States’.

Mexico and Spain complement each other well: the same language can be used for the advertising materials. Harms zum Spreckel: ‘We were insistent on including a country from North America or South America, and Mexico, with its stable economy, was the most appropriate choice. Many students from Spain are willing to seek their fortune abroad. But EUR has only a small market share of Spanish students in the Netherlands and that’s something we hope to improve. There were 25 students from Spain at our last Open Day so it looks like we’re on the right track’.

For a long time, the United Kingdom was a destination for many students who would go there to study. That is still the case, but British students increasingly look abroad for better options, says Harms zum Spreckel: ‘Part of the reason for this is that tuition fees in the UK have been raised to nearly 9,000 pounds per year. Our lower tuition fees, therefore, make us a favourable destination: high-quality education, minor cultural differences, and many Dutch people speak English’.

Virtual campus experience

The new recruitment activities will start in the fall. ‘We’re starting with activities that can be arranged in the short-term, so this fall we’ll be attending fairs in Mexico and the United Kingdom’. The university’s long-term activities include constructing a ‘virtual experience’ of the campus. The content of this virtual experience hasn’t been determined yet but it may resemble the one already in place at Erasmus University College.

Germany and China well represented

Until now, most international students at Erasmus University have come from Germany (18 percent) and China (10 percent), followed by France, Italy, and Greece (each at approximately 6 percent). The intention is to also maintain student intake figures from these countries at their current level.

kaart herkomst buitenlandse studenten
De herkomst van in 2015 ingestroomde buitenlandse studenten. Image credit: Project International Recruiting