International higher education students arrive en masse as academic year kicks off
Thousands of students from outside of the EU who received a study permit for the Netherlands started the new academic year on Monday. The number of study permits issued by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) has increased compared to last year, the AD reported.
Around ten percent more students from outside of the EU will attend Dutch universities this year compared to 2020. At the end of July, the IND had received 15,110 requests from non-EU students.
Part of the increase is attributed to the fact that Great Britain is no longer a part of the EU
The growth in the number of international students returned to the same size it had been prior to the pandemic. During the coronavirus crisis, the number of non-EU students fell by 40 percent.
“Last year it was a relatively quiet year due to coronavirus restrictions, hence, it is not illogical that the numbers will rise again”, Pieter Duisenberg from the Association of Universities (VSNU) told the AD. “There is a worldwide trend going on that students are looking for qualitatively good higher education for relatively little money.”
Although the 1.5-meter distance rule has been dropped in higher education for classes with under 76 participants, that still means education will be partly online for the time being. Universities are looking forward to welcoming more students in the lecture halls, Duisenberg said. “But first, we need to do it safely when the Cabinet decides it is responsible to let go of the limit.”
The IND received the most requests from students from China, India, the United States, Turkey and Indonesia. These students mainly opted for Economics & Business, Social Sciences, Engineering and Arts & Culture programs.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.