TU Delft students speak more than three languages

Research by the career network,, shows that Dutch university students speak an average of three languages. TU Delft students speak even more.

At TU Delft students speak an average of 3.18 languages. (Photo: Marjolein van der Veldt)

Nederlandse versie

The continuing debate about English language medium in higher education was the trigger for the Delft start-up (in Dutch) to carry out the research. The recent discussion on the language requirements for teachers and a student council that meets in English is a hot topic at TU Delft too. is a platform where students can create a profile which they can use to contact companies in their search for an internship, traineeship or job. It did a random test among its 100,000 registered users. The results show that TU Delft students seem to manage quite well in languages other than their own. With an average 3.18 languages per student, TU Delft came just behind the University of Groningen (3.25 languages) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (3.19 languages).

Infographic-top13-per-university.pngVU Amsterdam comes in last with an average of just 2.69 languages per student.  

More English than Dutch

Research also shows that slightly more university students speak English (90.4%) than Dutch (89.9%). Of them, more than 78% speak English ‘fluently’, more than 18% ‘well’ and a little more than 3% are even native speakers. At universities of applied sciences, the proportions are a little different. There, 94.5% of the students speak Dutch and 81.7% English.

Apart from English and Dutch, university students often speak a third language. Of these, German (9.5%), French (5.2%) and Spanish (4.6%) were the most named. The striking number six is Chinese. More than 1.3% of the students say that they speak it well or better. There is also an equal percentage that say that they can speak basic Chinese. They are thus learning the language. At universities of applied sciences, students speak two languages on average. Apart from English, this is most often German (6.3%), Spanish (3.1%) and French (2.6%).

At TU Delft, 21% of all the students are international. Of these students, most come from India, China, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Greece. At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, the proportion of international students is the largest at 42%.

Delta has written about in the past (Dutch only):

News editor Marjolein van der Veldt

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