International talent too expensive?

Nieuws | de redactie
4 januari 2012 | 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 thegrowing number of German students studying in the Netherlands. Thisis what Junior Minister for Education, Halbe Zijlstra, laid out ina statement to the Dutch parliament.

According to Zijlstra, internationalization could increasequality of education at Dutch universities as it prepares domesticstudents for global labor markets and opens the Netherlands toyoung talents. Too much of it, however, would be unaffordablecosting the government currently around €90 million per year.

Zijlstra admits that this is only based on calculatingshort-term costs and benefits excluding additional income fromincreased tax and VAT revenues. Furthermore, foreign students wouldon average score higher than their Dutch classmates. Mostsuccessful is the German student body that scores half a pointbetter on the Dutch scale between 0 and 10, while graduating at arate that is 25% higher compared to the rest.

Dutch for the Dutch, English for the rest

Nevertheless, Zijlstra announced that the Dutch government wouldlook into ways of having Germany contribute to the costs incurred.Most of the 24.000 German students come from border regions likeNordrhein-Westfalen which should then participate in a fundingtransfer scheme.

In addition to this, Zijlstra calls upon Dutch universities toscrap classes that are only taught in German. English languageclasses should furthermore only be given in “internationalclassrooms” while classes dominated by Dutch students should betaught in Dutch.

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

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