International students bring in €1.5 billion

Publication date: Nov 23, 2016 10:06 AM

International students who continue to work in the Netherlands after graduating provide €1.57 billion for the treasury each year. EP-Nuffic has determined this amount on the basis of new figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the calculation model by the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), as part of a study into revenue generated by international students.

€1.57 billion per year

Using new figures published by CBS, EP-Nuffic estimates that at least 25% of international graduate students will continue to live in the Netherlands for the rest of their lives. When CPB’s calculation model is applied and the current inflow and outflow figures are taken into consideration, this amounts to an annual positive balance of €1.57 billion for the Dutch treasury. This is more than has ever been collected before.

75,000 international students

Just under 75,000 international students with 161 different nationalities complete a full study at Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences. Of the international students who graduated in 2008, 2009 and 2010, 42%, 38% and 36%, respectively, continue to live in the Netherlands after five years. They work just as often and earn the same amount as their Dutch peers.

Top fields and countries

The study confirms what was already established in a previous measurement. On average, international students who pursue degrees relating to technology, health and nature remain in the Netherlands more frequently and for longer. The chance of finding a job is greater for students studying in these fields than in other sectors.

Students from outside Europe and students in higher professional education are more likely to stay in the Netherlands. EP-Nuffic presumes that this is due to poorer prospects on the job market outside Europe and the average longer duration of a higher professional study (HBO) compared with a research university (WO) degree.

The majority of international graduates who choose to remain in the Netherlands after the completion of their studies come from Germany, China, Indonesia, Poland and Belgium. Students from Sub-Saharan Africa rarely remain in the country. This makes it plausible that mobility among African students to the Netherlands does not contribute to a brain drain in Africa.

Ambassadors for the Netherlands

The revenue generated by international students is not just beneficial for the state treasury and the Dutch knowledge economy. These students are contributing to the quality of education – they attain higher grades and complete their studies more quickly than their Dutch classmates. They create an international classroom in which they share their knowledge and experience with their fellow students, thereby enabling all students to develop international skills.

If they do choose to return to their home country, international students serve as ambassadors for the Dutch education system and industry. This is something that they can use to create economic and diplomatic opportunities for themselves.

King to meet students at nl4talents

The new figures will be announced during the Week of the International Student. During this week, EP-Nuffic and Dutch education institutions will focus on the value of international students for the Netherlands. The highlight of the week is nl4talents on 23 November. This event has been organised for international students looking to maintain a link with the Netherlands after they complete their studies. King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands will meet international students and alumni during the event.

last modified Nov 23, 2016 10:06 AM