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International students flock to Dutch research universities


Leiden University

International student numbers in the Netherlands have increased in the past year according to recent numbers given by the VSNU, a Dutch higher education association consisting of fourteen research universities.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, there are 28, 296 international students enrolled at Dutch institutions, a jump of 6% from last year. This year’s numbers estimate international students as making up 12% of the total student population at research universities in the Netherlands, one percentage point higher than last year.

International schools

Leiden University has been identified as a favourite among international students with its university college programme and its English-taught Bachelor’s in International Studies being very popular. Coincidentally, both of these programmes are taught in The Hague which may attract international students due to its global reputation. Leiden’s growth in international students from 5% last year to 7% this year depicts a national trend.

Maastricht University still brings in the highest amount of foreign students with 46% of its student body coming from outside of the Netherlands. Wageningen University has a 24% international student presence and Erasmus University Rotterdam is 12% international. In last place for the second year in a row is the VU University Amsterdam, with only 4% of its students being international.

Who makes up the increase?

Germany is still the leader of international student exports with 3, 103 German students studying in the Netherlands this year, accounting for almost 30% of the rise in international numbers. China is in second place with 957 students and Greece is in third with 821 students.

In fourth place is Great Britain, a newcomer to this list. 537 new students enrolled at a Dutch institution this year, bringing the total of British students in the Netherlands to around one thousand. This trend is speculated to be due to the high increase in tuition fees at British institutions which is causing many British students to seek higher education abroad.

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