More international students staying in Netherlands after their studies

More international students stay to work in the Netherlands after their studies, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported. A third (32 percent) of international students who graduated in 2019 had jobs in the Netherlands in 2020. In previous years, that was around 20 percent.

The coronavirus pandemic may have affected these figures, as the study happened in the year the pandemic broke out and the world went into lockdown. But CBS couldn’t say that for sure.

International students with diplomas in services, computer science, education, and technology particularly stay to work in the Netherlands. Almost half of the students who graduated in these fields in 2019 had work in the Netherlands a year later. Agriculture, arts, and journalism students are least likely to stay in the Netherlands, with only about a quarter working here a year after graduation.

Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf of Education called it good news that more international graduates contribute to the Dutch knowledge economy. “We desperately need international talent, especially in shortage sectors like technology and IT,” he said to NOS. “The CBS research shows that relatively many students go to work in those sectors.”

Dijkgraaf would like to see more international students staying in the Netherlands. “Being able to get a job is one of the factors that increases the chance of staying for international students,” he said. “I want to increase the chance of staying by strengthening the bond of international students with the Netherlands.”

The growing number of international students is good for the Dutch knowledge economy. Still, universities have complained about overcrowded lecture halls and too little living space for students for years.

Dijkgraaf is considering having universities offer more lessons in only Dutch. According to him, this would make education less attractive for international students who don’t want to learn the language because they don’t intend to stay in the Netherlands.

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