University bachelors ever more popular among internationals

International students are choosing bachelors at Dutch universities more often. The total percentage of international students at Dutch universities has grown to 19.2%.

Once again, the number of international students in higher education in the Netherlands has risen. Exactly 85,955 internationals from 170 countries are taking a full degree course this academic year. This is 11.5% of all registered students, reports Nuffic, the internationalisation organisation, on the basis of the number of confirmed registrations. This was 10.5% in the last academic year.

TU Delft has 5,324 international students amounting to 21.7% of the student body. Ten years ago this was only 1,925 (13%). Most international students are studying at EEMCS and AE. The figures are 1,209 International students (30%) at EEMCS and 1,108 (42%) at AE.


Source: Nuffic.

The proportion of international bachelor students this year saw the biggest growth: 20.4% of the inflow is from abroad compared to 17.8% last year. The proportion of international bachelor students at TU Delft is 11%. For the first time, more international students chose university bachelors (30,500) than university of applied sciences bachelors (27,186). Masters still remain more popular. Among universities in the Netherlands, 23.6% of all master students are internationals. At TU Delft this is even 35%.

Most internationals are German and Italian
Most international students come from Germany (22,584). Italian students (4,814) are also finding their way to lecture halls more often. They overtook Chinese students (4,547) this year which puts them in second place.

Italian students are seeking to study abroad more often, says Nuffic spokesperson Anne Lutgerink. “This is partly triggered by the economic situation there.” The number of Chinese students studying in the West has been evening out for a while. According to Nuffic, the Chinese government is investing more in the country’s own education system and more students are choosing to study elsewhere in Asia. Furthermore, the government’s one child policy has led to a drop in the number of pupils in the Chinese education system.

University of Maastricht has the most internationals 
The university that has the highest number and percentage of international students by far is still the University of Maastricht. Nuffic does point out though, that increasing numbers of international students are choosing Leiden University, Erasmus University, the University of Groningen and the University of Amsterdam. Ten years ago, no more than 10% of their students came from abroad. This is now different with 22.4% of the students at the University of Groningen and around 20% of the students at the University of Amsterdam coming from abroad.

Technical universities
The technical universities of Delft, Twente, Eindhoven and Wageningen attract many international students that take masters or PhDs. The number of international students grew the most in Twente, from 21.3% in 2016-2017 to 26.8% this academic year. The total number of international students at the technical universities has quadrupled over the last 10 years.

Most of the international students (12,370) that go to a university choose one of the humanities. Psychology, with 6,786 applications, in particular was popular among international students. The largest share of international students studies at university colleges.

HOP, Inge Schouten

HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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