The number of international students who stay in the Netherlands after completing a degree course has risen sharply in the past few years, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.
Some 32% of the international students graduating in the 2018/2019 academic year had a job in the Netherlands a year later, the CBS said. The number of international students staying on to work had remained around 20% for years.
The increase may be down to the outbreak of coronavirus which made it harder to travel, but it is still too early to say, the CBS said.
Almost half the foreign students with a degree in supply chain management had a job in the Netherlands a year after graduating, as had 47% of the IT graduates.
Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf, who is planning to introduce more Dutch language teaching at universities and colleges, has welcomed the news. “The Netherlands needs international talent, particularly in the technology and IT sectors,” he told broadcaster NOS. “And the CBS figures show a relatively large proportion of students get jobs in these sectors.”
Nevertheless, Dijkgraaf said, more still needs to be done to encourage international students to stay on. Students from outside the EU can apply for a one-year visa to look for work after completing their education.
Dijkgraaf presented a package of measures to boost the number of Dutch language degrees and to encourage foreign students to learn the local language earlier this summer. An internet consultation about the education proposals is running until mid-September and so far has 124 public reactions.
Business administration and international business were among the most popular degree courses taken by international students, followed by behavioural sciences, technology and civil engineering, including architecture. In total, some 16% of international students graduate in a technological subject, compared with 9% of the Dutch.
The number of international students coming to the Netherlands this academic year has risen slightly and they now account for some 15% of the total student body.
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