Since 2015 the number of new international students in the bachelor programmes has doubled from 6,800 to 13,900, according to the latest university statistics. But that rapid growth mainly happened in previous years, with rises of 20 to 30 percent. This academic year, the increase is 7 percent.
In the master programmes, the number of international first-year students has risen from 8,100 to 10,000 since 2015, nearly 25 percent more. But that growth appears to have levelled off. This year the increase was only 0.8 percent.
In recent years, universities have been subject to more and more criticism about the unbridled growth in the number of international students. The anglicisation of the study programmes was only driven by the desire for financial gain, it was claimed. The more students, the more money.
The universities responded by pointing to the advantages of internationalisation for the quality of the education: students who come to study in another country are often very motivated. Furthermore, international students often study subjects that attract too few students, in technology, for example.
The university intake of students from higher professional education (HBO) grew by 6 percent this year, while the number of students from university preparatory education (VWO) fell slightly. Overall, 303,299 students are enrolled in Dutch universities. That’s 4.2 percent more than in the previous academic year.
This year, the University of Amsterdam had the highest intake in the bachelor programmes and has swapped places with Groningen. It also has the most students in its master programmes.