Compared to the current academic year, there has been a 23 percent increase in the number of students registering to study at the University of Groningen.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Noord reports that there were 9,062 first year student registrations. This year, that is up to 11,217. Many of the new registrations are from international students: 50 percent more EU students have been accepted to study at the RUG, and non-EU student enrolment is up by 31 percent. The net increase among Dutch student registrations is 11 percent.
In the master’s programmes, registration numbers are up by nearly 1,000 over last year. Two faculties – behavioural and social sciences, and science and engineering – have seen the biggest increase. Both faculties are already struggling to accommodate their current student populations: competition for lecture halls and exam facilities is fierce. The psychology department (which is part of the behavioural and social sciences faculty) will reintroduce numerus fixus, a cap on enrolments, in 2019.
The ever-growing enrolment numbers among international students has been out of proportion with the number of available accommodations in Groningen for years. Hundreds of students remain housed in a former asylum seekers’ centre, which was meant to function as a temporary solution to the ongoing international housing shortage.
To that end, the University of Groningen, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the municipality of Groningen are looking for an additional 500 to 1,000 rooms to house foreign students, including properties outside of the city limits.
Concerns about unchecked growth among international students at Dutch academic institutions was recently addressed by education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven. The minister stated that while universities can decide for themselves if academic programmes should be offered in English, she was considering charging universities higher fees for foreign students and raising tuition fees for non-EU students.
Registration versus enrolment
While international student numbers are undeniably on the rise, not all students who register to study ultimately end up enrolling at the university. Foreign students in particular often apply to multiple universities, which means they are counted as registering at more than one academic institution.
UPDATE: 4:56 p.m., Tuesday, 26 June
University of Groningen spokesperson Jorien Bakker says that while the university is glad that more and more students around the world are choosing to come to Groningen, “we are aware of the challenges that come along with that. We are currently working as hard as we can to provide more housing for students, and several other academic programmes are considering implementing a numerus fixus. But obviously we are pleased that the university is continuing to grow.”