Job opportunities in Groningen and the North are increasing. Half of the student population at the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences also wants to remain in Groningen after their graduation, which is good news. But there is still work to do informing students that there are lots of careers to be had in Groningen.
One of the organizations in the Northern Netherlands that works to make these jobs visible is LIFE Cooperative.
In order to facilitate the growth of LIFE cooperative and its members, various parties also work closely together on the theme of Human Capital: training and retaining high-quality and sufficient talent. On this theme, there is close cooperation with the knowledge institutions such as the University of Groningen, UMCG, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Noorderpoort and Drenthe College. In this way, training courses can be developed to optimally match the developments in the labor market.
“In the meantime, LIFE Cooperative has become the ‘life science job engine’ of the Northern Netherlands and LIFE Cooperative offers jobseekers the opportunity to develop a lifelong career: from, for example, working your way up from research analyst to CEO of one of the larger companies,” says Peter Ketelaar, board member and leader Human Capital within the LIFE Cooperative. “The Northern Netherlands is really the ‘place to be’ and we hope to make that more and more visible”.
Check the (Dutch) article about the research into career prospects of the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.
Career perspective in Groningen often still unknown to students
Two years after their studies, the number of students from outside the Northern Netherlands region who will study at the University of Groningen (RUG) and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen is about the same as the proportion of students who leave the region after their studies. For 70% of these students, this is due to career opportunities elsewhere. Better information about career opportunities in Groningen can help to retain a larger part of the valuable talent that is trained in Groningen for the region.
This is the conclusion of a joint study carried out by the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen. It was commissioned by the Accord of Groningen, a collaboration between the University of Groningen, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, the University Medical Center Groningen, Martini Hospital, the province of Groningen, Noorderpoort, the Alfa College and the municipality of Groningen.They wanted to know about the departure behaviour of students after their studies and what motives play a role in this.
More UG students are leaving
The researchers found that more than half of the students at the RUG come from outside of the Northern Netherlands. Two years after their studies, about half of the students also left the North. Six years after the study, the share of leavers increased to just under 60%.
About a quarter of the students at Hanze University of Applied Sciences come from outside the region. Two years after their studies, 28% of Hanze students left the North and after six years 35%. The majority of Hanze students remain in their own region. For both institutions, the inflow from outside the region and the outflow from the North cancel each other out.
Jouke van Dijk, professor of the regional labour market: “It is therefore not the case, as is sometimes thought, that after their studies the vast majority of students from the North ‘move to the Randstad’. What many do not know is that half of the RUG’s students also come from outside the North. It is not bad that a part of them leaves, as there is no work here for every single graduate, and just that they have studied here is good for the regional economy in Groningen because of the spending and the ambassador function. The fact that graduates leave can be seen as a nice export product, but it would of course be even better if Northern companies themselves made use of this important source of knowledge and innovation that is produced here in the region.”
Job opportunities higher elsewhere
For 69% of the students surveyed, ‘work’ is the main reason to leave. It also appears that the students surveyed estimate the chance of a job and the career opportunities in Randstad higher than in Groningen. This is especially true for most UG students, students ‘health and care’ are an exception. Another important reason to leave is because of their partner (40%). For 26% of the departures, the ‘living environment’ plays a role, which may have to do with the dynamics in the Randstad. Hanze University of Applied Sciences students are more optimistic than University of Groningen students about finding a suitable job in the Groningen region.
Many will stay in the North
Half of the students surveyed would like to stay in Groningen after their studies. The most important reason to stay in Groningen is ‘friends’ (44%) but remarkably also ‘work’ (40%).
Among students within the engineering and science domain, the interest in staying if there were jobs is the strongest. A small proportion of the departing students (5%) think they will return to the North in 10 years’ time. The main reasons for this are family, partner and living environment.
Professor Karel Jan Alsem: “So it seems that quite a lot of students would like to stay in the region but are prevented from doing so because they believe there is no career perspective for them.” Jouke van Dijk: “That is remarkable because there is a lot of employment in the region, also for higher educated people. And with all the developments surrounding, for example, energy transition and healthcare, we also need more smart students.”
The Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen investigated, on the basis of microdata from CBS, which numbers of students study at Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen, where they come from and where they go afterwards.
The Marketing Research Group of Hanze University investigated the motives of students to leave or not to leave. In the spring of 2021, approximately 800 third- and fourth-year students from the University of Groningen and Hanze University completed a questionnaire.
Talent in the region
This research is part of a large long-term project by the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences to monitor the ‘talent in the region’ for years to come. For this project ‘Talent in the Region’, the National Program Groningen has made funds available.
Make it in the North
In order to make jobs in the North more visible for internationals, and to show in turn to Northern companies how many highly skilled and experienced international jobseekers are looking for work here, a number of organizations put together Make it in the North. Through an English-language job platform and workshops and network events in English, the project brings internationals and Northern Dutch companies in touch with each other.
The project is funded by educational institutions in the North (University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, NHL Stenden), as well as government (Municipalities of Groningen, Leeuwarden, Emmen and Assen, WerkInZicht) and business associations (Royal Metal Union, VNO-NCW).