Regions outside the Randstad want foreign students to stay: Trouw


Areas outside the central Randstad part of the Netherlands are afraid they will lose out if universities and hbo colleges are stopped from actively recruiting international students abroad, Trouw reported on Tuesday.

Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf is currently preparing draft legislation to make the influx of foreign students more manageable, following a motion backed by MPs some months ago.

Since then universities and colleges outside the big cities have been up in arms about the impending new rules, saying that they are not experiencing the problems that beset Amsterdam and others, such a shortage of accommodation, the paper said.

‘I am very worried about this,’ Barbara Oomen, from Zeeland college HZ, told Trouw. Some 17% of HZ students come from abroad. ‘MPs are impatient, because of the accommodation problem but I’m afraid the measures will be far too sweeping. We in Zeeland are not facing the same problems.’

Oomen said that, on the contrary, Zeeland welcomes foreign students. The province’s population is shrinking and many tech companies, such as Dow Chemical and Yara Sluiskil, are hard put to find highly trained staff.

Universities and colleges do not have the legal right to refuse EU students but most have been urged to stop their recruitment activities abroad.

Educational institutions in Zeeland, and other regions, such as Twente, Limburg and Groningen, are hoping the minister will make an exception for them in the upcoming legislation.

The matter is set to come up for debate in parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

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