For years, the UvA has admitted large numbers of international students but now says it can no longer cope with the influx. This led the university to take action in anticipation of a new law designed to give the higher education sector greater powers to restrict international student numbers. The UvA’s executive board introduced a quota for the English-taught track of its Bachelor’s programme in psychology. The aim was to increase the proportion of Dutch students taking the programme.

As reported in Het Parool, the measure proved effective: the proportion of Dutch speakers among first-year psychology students rose from 29 to 53 percent. President of the executive board Geert ten Dam is positive about the measure. “We have been asking for this for a long time”, she tells the paper, “and the results show that as universities we can use this measure to regulate our intake if necessary.”

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Universities: slightly fewer international first-years

For the first time in years, the intake of international Bachelor’s students has…


Outgoing education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf wanted universities to wait until the law was amended before they took action. He wants to provide them with tools, including a student quota for English-taught tracks, to limit international admissions. Selecting students on the basis of nationality or language is currently not allowed. But the UvA went ahead regardless.

A spokesperson for the inspectorate said it hadn’t expected the university to go ahead and introduce the measure given the minister’s objections. “We thought they were simply stating their aims. Now it turns out that they have also acted on them. We are currently considering what to do about the situation.”

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New law for intake of international students: ‘Necessary, but the tone is worrisome’

Fewer international students and more Dutch students at Dutch universities. These are the…