Saturday 28 November 2020

Fewer non-EU students plan to stay in the Netherlands, Nuffic survey shows

A meeting for international students in Leiden. Photo: Brandon Hartley

Fewer foreign students are considering staying in the Netherlands after completing their degrees often because they are worried about their career prospects post coronavirus, according to research by Nuffic, the Dutch government agency for the internationalisation of education.

Nuffic carried out a survey of 600 foreign students who had recently graduated, or were close to doing so, and found that those from outside the EU in particular plan to return home. Before coronavirus, 72% of non-EU foreign students had plans to stay in the Netherlands, but this has now dropped to 56%.

Pre-crisis, the availability of accommodation was the strongest negative factor influencing the decision to stay but this has now been overtaken by coronavirus, the survey shows.

The top three reasons to stay in the country – quality of life, quality of education and work-life balance – remain the same.

Research published last year by macro-economic think-tank CPB suggested foreign students generate hundreds of thousands of euros for the treasury. Even after the cost of sending Dutch students abroad is deducted from the total, foreign students from outside the EU generate up to €94,000 each for the government.

This is because their fees are much higher and around 30% of them remain in the Netherlands after graduation, the CPB said. By contrast, EU students bring in between €7,000 and €15,000 each, and no more than 15% stay on after finishing their degree.

As yet it is unclear what impact coronavirus has had on the number of foreign students coming to the Netherlands, particularly given so many classes are now remote.

Last year, some 11.5% of the student body in the Netherlands came from abroad. Most of them were from the EU.

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