Thursday 24 September 2020

Dutch students shelve plans to study abroad because of coronavirus

Students in Delft before coronavirus. Photo:

Dutch students are cancelling or rethinking plans to spend part of their degree courses abroad because of the coronavirus crisis, according to figures from international education bureau Nuffic.

One third of the 654 students questioned by Nuffic said they are delaying trips abroad, and half of students say they have changed their plans one way or another.

Tens of thousands of Dutch students spend at least a few months studying abroad every year.

‘An international experience, where you physically cross the border, is impossible for a lot of students at the moment,’ Nuffic director Freddy Weima said. ‘We know that being abroad is very beneficial for students… and we must keep trying to find ways to let them have this experience with other cultures and ways of working.’

It is still too early to say what the impact of coronavirus will be on the number of foreign students coming to the Netherlands, Nuffic told

Nevertheless, in May the agency published research based on 941 potential students from outside the EU which showed a quarter of the students who had planned to study in the Netherlands had changed their minds.

Four in 10 said they still wanted to go ahead with their degree course and 36% said they didn’t know.

International students currently make up 12% of the Dutch student body, and some 25,800 are from non-EU countries.

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