Dutch universities have put all recruitment activities abroad on hold until February, the Dutch universities organization Universiteiten Nederland said in the wake of the calls from second chamber deputies and the education ministry to curb foreign student numbers.
Earlier this month, Dutch Second Chamber deputies Peter Kwint (SP) and Harry van der Molen (CDA) have called on the Education Ministry to limit the number of people admitted in the country for studying purposes as higher education is becoming less accessible to locals and its quality is under threat.
The petitioners noted that “after years of consultations, no solution has been found” to the mounting problems in the higher education. Dutch political parties have been sounding the alarm about growing internationalization of academic education for some time now. International students bring in money, which impelled many educational institutions to actively recruit students abroad.
But the downside of the increased internationalization is that it “increases the pressure on the education system,” as there is a shortage of study facilities, and the workload for academic staff has been “unacceptably high” for years.
University leaders, especially in border regions, strongly oppose any recruitment bans, saying even rhetoric aimed at overseas students risked harming a sector reliant on them as a lucrative source of income.
Besides, student flows are crucial to the country economic growth, innovation capacity, and competitiveness as a knowledge economy, they say.