Over 7 percent more international students are currently registered at Dutch universities than last year, the umbrella organization Universities of the Netherlands reported. The number rose less sharply than in previous years. That may be due to several universities calling on students not to come if they couldn’t find accommodation, according to the organization.
Students from abroad are in demand because in certain sectors, like the energy transition and digitization, there is more demand for university-trained experts than Dutch students in training. But the need for international students is at odds with the availability of student housing in some cities.
At the start of the academic year, the housing shortage for students stood at almost 27,000 homes, Kences, the knowledge center for student housing, reported. Accordion to this organization, the shortage could rise to nearly 45,000 in the 2029/30 academic year. This year, several universities, including those in Utrecht and Amsterdam, asked international students to change their study plans if they couldn’t find accommodation.
Those actions may have had an effect, according to the Universities of the Netherlands. The umbrella organization published the provisional enrollment figures for this academic year on Thursday. There are about 340,000 students enrolled at Dutch universities, about the same number as in the previous academic year. However, fewer pre-university students started a bachelor’s degree this year than last year.
According to the universities, this is partly because fewer secondary school students obtained a diploma. But fewer pre-university students also immediately started studying in higher education: 67 percent this year compared to 72 percent last year. That may be related to the coronavirus pandemic when students were less able to go abroad. So they may have decided to travel before starting their studies. The reintroduction of the basic study grant next academic year may also have an impact – prospective students may delay their studies to qualify for the grant.
The number of students following courses in the natural sciences – biology, chemistry, or physics – increased compared to last year. In economic studies, the number of students decreased.
Reporting by ANP
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