Groningen remains a popular destination for international students. New statistics from the Central Bureau for Statistics reveal that nearly a third of all Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (UG) students residing in Groningen come from overseas, marking a substantial international presence in the city.
Out of every thousand inhabitants of the municipality of Groningen, there are 63 Dutch students who study at the UG. Meanwhile, the count stands at 31 international students per thousand inhabitants, which means that almost half of the UG student population in Groningen is foreign.
In contrast, the proportions at Groningen’s HBO (Higher Vocational Education) institutions lean more toward Dutch students. Here, the figures show 44 Dutch HBO students per thousand residents, with only 9 HBO students hailing from abroad.
This distribution mirrors the trend in other major Dutch student cities, although Maastricht stands as a notable exception. In Maastricht, the number of international students surpasses that of Dutch students at the university, painting a unique educational landscape.
Vital contribution to Groningen’s vibrancy
The UG attracts international students from various countries and regions, such as China, India, Indonesia, Latin America, and, of course, the European Union. The university offers several English-taught bachelor and master programs, as well as exchange and scholarship opportunities. The UG also has a strong reputation for research and innovation, ranking among the top 100 universities in the world.
The presence of international students in Groningen has a positive impact on the city’s economy, culture, and diversity. International students contribute to the local income, consumption, and employment. They also enrich the cultural and social life of the city, bringing different perspectives, languages, and traditions.
They also bring new perspectives to the classroom and can help prepare Dutch students for a globalized world.
Overcoming the difficulties and enjoying the benefits
However, there are also challenges for international students in Groningen. They often have to deal with language barriers and cultural differences. In addition, Groningen has a competitive housing market, making it difficult for students to find affordable and suitable accommodation. International students may face additional problems due to their limited knowledge of local housing options.
The city offers a number of support services for international students, including language courses and cultural orientation programs.
The high number of international students in Groningen is a reflection of the city’s international appeal, and its vibrant and welcoming environment.