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  • International talent too expensive?

    - The Dutch government calculated that it is losing €90 million yearly on foreign students. Now, it calls upon its neighbors to step in and fund the overwhelming inflow of German students.

    The Dutch cabinet says that it wants Germany to pay for the growing number of German students studying in the Netherlands. This is what Junior Minister for Education, Halbe Zijlstra, laid out in a statement to the Dutch parliament.

    According to Zijlstra, internationalization could increase quality of education at Dutch universities as it prepares domestic students for global labor markets and opens the Netherlands to young talents. Too much of it, however, would be unaffordable costing the government currently around €90 million per year.

    Zijlstra admits that this is only based on calculating short-term costs and benefits excluding additional income from increased tax and VAT revenues. Furthermore, foreign students would on average score higher than their Dutch classmates. Most successful is the German student body that scores half a point better on the Dutch scale between 0 and 10, while graduating at a rate that is 25% higher compared to the rest.

    Dutch for the Dutch, English for the rest

    Nevertheless, Zijlstra announced that the Dutch government would look into ways of having Germany contribute to the costs incurred. Most of the 24.000 German students come from border regions like Nordrhein-Westfalen which should then participate in a funding transfer scheme.

    In addition to this, Zijlstra calls upon Dutch universities to scrap classes that are only taught in German. English language classes should furthermore only be given in "international classrooms" while classes dominated by Dutch students should be taught in Dutch.

    Meanwhile, the Dutch government aims at expanding the share of Dutch students studying a complete degree or at least part of it abroad. With 2,7% and 17%, respectively, these rates appear rather low compared to the European average.


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