11 April 2019 • HOP, Inge Schouten
Once again, more international students are enrolled at universities of applied sciences
The share of international students at universities of applied sciences has increased again: from 6.2 percent in 2017 to 6.5 percent this academic year. Art degree programmes are the most international.
Exactly 85,955 international students from 170 countries are enrolled in a full-time bachelor or master degree programme at a Dutch university of applied sciences or research university. This number represents 11.5 percent of all enrolled students, reports internationalisation organisation Nuffic, based on the definitive enrolment numbers. Last academic year, the share was only 10.5 percent.
International university of applied sciences students most often opt for a bachelor degree programme. 27,186 international students enrolled in a bachelor degree programme this year. This represents 6.1 percent of all bachelor students. The share in the master degree programmes is much bigger. Here 20.5 percent (2,145 students) come from abroad.
Most of the international students come from Germany (22,584). But the Italians (4,814) are finding their way to Dutch lecture halls in growing numbers. This year they overtook the number of Chinese (4,547) students, putting themselves in second place.
Poor economic situation
A growing number of Italians is choosing to study abroad, explains Nuffic spokesperson Anne Lutgerink. “This is partially because of the poor economic situation in the country.” On the other hand, the number of Chinese students in the west has been levelling off. According to Nuffic, the Chinese government has been investing more in its own education and students are also choosing to study elsewhere in Asia more often. Another reason is that there are fewer Chinese students overall. As a result of the government’s one-child policy, the number of students in Chinese post-primary education has decreased.
The art degree programmes at universities of applied sciences have always been a magnet for international students. They have the highest international share with 34%. The Design Academy is the most international institution in all higher education, with 73% foreign students. Of the major universities of applied sciences, Fontys is the number one choice for international students: 28.5 percent of its students hail from abroad.
The chart below gives an overview of the university of applied sciences with the highest and lowest percentage of international students. Compared to other universities of applied sciences in the Randstad conurbation, THUAS has the highest number of international students.