Netherlands gives little money to STEM sector

Netherlands gives little money to STEM sector



Dutch spending on STEM is lagging behind internationally and recruitment into undergraduate programmes is relatively low, writes education minister Dijkgraaf.


VVD and ChristenUnie wanted more clarity on the distribution of research and education resources across the various science fields in the Netherlands, compared to other countries. The minister based his answer on a variety of analyses.




Total research spending increased by 36 per cent between 2013 and 2021, the Rathenau Institute says. This applies in roughly equal measure to all sectors (STEM, medical, gamma and alpha). 


Compared to other countries, the Netherlands spent little on STEM research and a lot on the medical sector. Anyway, there are many countries that spend percentage-wise more on science than the Netherlands.


Bachelor students

For a reliable comparison of countries’ educational resources, there are insufficient data at hand, the minister argues. “The system of funding differs too much,” he says. However, it is possible to make a comparison of the distribution of the number of students.


For instance, it appears that relatively few bachelor’s students at Dutch universities of applied sciences follow a STEM study programme. More than half of them follow a gamma study programme, which is a lot compared to other countries.Ó


The proportion of master’s students at Dutch STEM study programmes is again quite high. According to the researchers, this has risen sharply between 2013 and 2021. (HOP, PvT)

HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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