Economics, management studies under pressure as more students sign up

Groningen University’s main admin building. Photo:

English language economics and business studies courses are proving a major draw at Dutch universities this academic year and two courses have already imposed a cap on student numbers, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.

The University of Amsterdam expects to sign up 1,800 first-year students for its business and economics courses this year, compared with 840 in 2016. Of them, between 40% and 50% come from abroad, the UvA told the paper.

‘Foreign students think it is cheap to study in the Amsterdam and the UvA has a good name,’ spokesman Peter van Baalen told the FD. ‘And of course, Amsterdam is a major draw.’

In Groningen, the number of first year economics students is set to go up from 1,040 to 1,350 while in Maastricht, 400 first-year economics students will start in September.

Rotterdam School of Management, which has 550 places on its international business administration course, has had 2,400 applications this year, of which 75% came from abroad.

RSM has brought in a cap on student numbers and requires an average school leaving exam pass of at least seven out of 10. But only one in three Dutch school leavers achieves that grade.

‘This is worrying,’ said spokesman Adri Meijdam. ‘If too few Dutch school leavers qualify for a course with a cap in numbers, they face being pushed out.’ has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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