The number of foreign students at Dutch institutions of higher education has continued to grow. A total number of 85,955 international students from 170 countries pursue an entire study program at a Dutch university this year. That is 11.5 percent of the total number of students enrolled, according to Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in higher education. Last academic year, that figure was 10.5 percent.
The number of international bachelor’s students at research universities showed the strongest growth this year: the percentage of influx from foreign students was 20.4 percent, compared to 17.8 percent last year. For the first time, more international students chose to enroll in a bachelor’s program at a research university (30,500) than in a bachelor’s program at a university of applied sciences (27,186). The master’s programs are still the most popular; 23.6 percent of master’s students are foreigners.
Advance registration for bachelor’s programs at TU/e for the coming academic year shows that more and more international students are interested to start their study in Eindhoven. The number of advance registrations is currently at 1,646 and counting, with 806 students from within the European Economic Area, and 840 from outside. Last year, the total number of international advance registrations was 1,207.
Computer Science and Engineering, a program with a fixed quota and a limit of 275 students, has shown a large increase, from 112 international advance registrations last year to 408 this academic year. The bachelor’s program of Mechanical Engineering, which has a limit of 330 students, has also become more popular now that the program will be taught in English; the number of advance registrations has increased from 62 last year to 167 this year. The number of international advance registrations for a smaller program such as Applied Mathematic has more than doubled: from 30 to 68.
Most international students come from Germany (22,584). But the number of students at Dutch universities from Italy (4,814) has also showed a steady growth. This year, they have overtaken the Chinese (4,547), making them the second largest group.
In general, Italians tend to study abroad more often, says Nuffic spokeswoman Anne Lutgerink. “This is partly due to the difficult economic situation in Italy.” The number of Chinese students at Western universities has decreased on the other hand. According to Nuffic, the Chinese government has invested more in their own education, and students choose an education elsewhere in Asia more often. Also, the overall number of students in Chinese secondary education has decreased as a result of the one-child policy.
The number of international students, both in absolute numbers and relative share, is still highest at Maastricht University. According to Nuffic, the growth of foreign students at Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Groningen and the University of Amsterdam is remarkable. Ten years ago, the share of international students at these universities was ten percent. This has changed considerably. The figure is now 22.4 percent at the University of Groningen, and approximately 20 percent at the UvA and the Erasmus University.
International students per university
Universiteit van Twente
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
The technical research universities in Delft, Twente, Eindhoven and Wageningen attract a high number of mostly international master’s students as well. The share of international students grew most at the University of Twente: from 21.3 percent in 2016-2017 to 26.8 this academic year. The total number of international students at TU/e has quadrupled during the last ten years.
International students at research universities most often choose a social science program. With 6,786 enrolments, psychology was most popular among international students. The share of international students was highest at university colleges.
International students per academic domain
Economics and business
Art and cultur
Agriculture and environment