On Thursday, a motion submitted by GroenLinks and VVD for a programme ‘to attract and retain international talent’ was adopted by a large majority. Only the SP, the PVV, the Partij voor de Dieren and the Forum voor Democratie voted against it.


Minister van Engelshoven must now work with her colleagues from Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Social Affairs to explore how to follow up the long term action plan ‘Make it in the Netherlands’.

This campaign was launched in 2013 by former minister Bussemaker and was intended to ensure that foreign students forged a bond with the Netherlands – they were given language courses, internships and help finding housing. These tasks are now performed by internationalisation organisation Nuffic.

The campaign was a success and must be continued, say MPs Zihni Özdil from GroenLinks and VVD member Judith Tielen, who submitted the motion. Foreign students are good for the economy, they argue. Various sectors are threatened with labour shortages, so highly educated internationals are more than welcome.

No extra budget

Minister Van Engelshoven also wants to continue the programme, she told the House on Thursday. “But I will just say now that there’s no extra budget available for this.”

Another motion by Tielen for the creation of one registration centre for all foreign students was also accepted. At present, the students often enrol for several study programmes at different universities, resulting in a lack of clarity and a great deal of administration.