Ruling party wants gov't to do more against influx of international students
Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education) is not doing enough to curb the influx of international students, VVD parliamentarian Hatte van der Woude said to AD. She plans to confront him about it during Wednesday's parliamentary debate on the Education budget.
In June, Dijkgraaf withdrew a legislative proposal to limit the number of international students. “The Minister first wants to think, like a kind of thoughtful professor, and make a vision for the future. I haven’t even seen a setup for that yet. And in the meantime, you see the universities filling up.” Van der Woude pointed to the student housing shortage and packed lecture halls. “Dutch students are simply being outcompeted by international students.”
The number of international students at Dutch universities has been increasing for 16 years. Last academic year, 80,400 international students studied at a Dutch university, compared to 12,530 in the 2005-2006 academic year. This academic year, 85,500 international students are registered in the Netherlands, a growth of 7.2 percent. In previous years, the number of international students increased by between 12 and 15 percent per year.
Van der Woude worries that the slower growth will take the urgency out of the government’s measures. “Even if growth levels off, there is still growth. We are doing a lot of countries a big favor by educating their students. There are thousands of people in India who want to become engineers. They can all come here. We cannot handle those numbers.”