The rampant growth in the number of international students in the Netherlands has led to concerns about the funding of education, the reduced accessibility for Dutch students and a shortage of student housing. This is Dijkgraaf’s observation in a position paper he has sent to the European Commission.

In his view, part of the solution lies in Europe. Certain countries would benefit from hosting international students, yet they offer little teaching in English. He hopes they will do something about it, thereby relieving popular countries like the Netherlands.


Dijkgraaf has written his paper because of the forthcoming launch of a new joint venture, the European Learning Mobility Framework. The purpose of the Framework is to ensure that European countries coordinate the internationalisation of their study programmes with one another better.

 According to the Minister, every country must first come up with a tailored action plan and take stock of the local wishes. This would have to be financed partially by the EU.


Previously, he had shared his own plans for getting a grip on internationalisation. If it were up to him, foreign students would be obliged to learn some Dutch. A fixed quota for English-language tracks in a study programme might be introduced as well. He also wants more attention paid to Dutch as a language of instruction. He debated this last week with the Dutch House of Representatives.

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