Concerns for education quality as mass inflow of international students continues
Dutch universities won't be able to do anything against the massive influx of international students for the time being because the law meant to regulate it has been delayed, BNR reports. The quality of higher education is in serious jeopardy, the umbrella organization for Dutch universities UNL said to the broadcaster.
The number of students at Dutch universities roughly doubled in the past two decades, with the number of international students growing massively in the past years, UNL chairman Pieter Duisenberg said. "During the same time, the funding of universities has not grown along with the students, which means that universities receive less and less funding per student. The consequences of this are noticeable at all universities," Duisenberg said. "The workload among employees is too high, students are in larger groups, and scientists have less and less time for research."
Universities have asked for "instruments" to manage the influx of international students since 2018. They called for things like a limit on the English-language track of study programs. "Or, for example, an emergency limit if it appears during registration that the number of students is rising so fast that the program will run into problems," Duisenberg said. "It also helps if you can set a maximum number of students from outside Europe."
The Ministry of Education drafted a bill that allows some of these instruments but is now withdrawing the bill because Minster Robbert Dijkgraaf first wants to work out a "joint foresight study" with the parties involved. Only then will he draw up a "comprehensive package of measures," he said in a letter to parliament, according to the broadcaster.
Duisenberg worries that time is running out. He called on the Minister to quickly present replacement legislation that will allow universities to better regulate the numbers of international students. "Every year that we wait is actually a year wasted," he said.