29 September 2023, by Emily Proctor

A record number of international students are choosing to live in the Netherlands after they graduate from their degree programme, according to new data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). More than 30 percent of international students chose to stay in the Netherlands after graduation in the academic year 2018 / 2019 – the figure used to be just 20 percent.

Sharp rise in the number of international students staying in the Netherlands

For many years, only 20 percent of international students studying at Dutch universities chose to stay in the country after their graduation. In the academic year 2018 / 19, that figure rose sharply to 32 percent of graduates. 

Researchers at Statistics Netherlands say that the sharp increase in this figure could be down to the reduced mobility of students during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, though admit it is still too early to say for sure whether this is the only reason.

Supply Chain Management and IT graduates have good prospects

According to Statistics Netherlands, almost half of Supply Chain Management graduates had a job within a year after graduation, as did 47 percent of IT graduates. The Dutch Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf, though pleased with the numbers, wants to make sure that more international students stay in the Netherlands after their studies. 

That said, the minister is also keen for international students to have a greater understanding of the Dutch language, and has therefore made a number of proposals to increase the number of degrees taught in Dutch, as well as offer more opportunities for international students living in the Netherlands to take up Dutch courses.

“The Netherlands needs international talent, particularly in the technology and IT sectors,” the Education Minister told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “And the CBS figures show a relatively large proportion of students do get jobs in these sectors.”

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