More international students than ever before are choosing to pursue engineering and technical degrees in the Netherlands, according to a report from international education body Nuffic. Here’s a closer look at the figures, as recently reported by

Record Numbers

A whopping one out of every three Master’s degree students at Delft, Wageningen, Eindhoven and Enschede universities came from abroad in the 2017-2018 academic year.  In total, 12,000 international degree students are currently enrolled in Dutch higher education programs -- an impressive rise from 2006’s 3,751. Germany, China and India were cited as the top three sending countries.

A “Benefit to Education”

The increase in international student interest has unique implications in the Netherlands, where foreign students are not necessarily charged higher fees. Said Noffic spokesperson Anne Lutgerink, “In the US and UK, it is considered normal to attract international students from a profit perspective. That’s not considered the case in the Netherlands.”

In response to skyrocketing applications from overseas, at least one technical university has implemented a freeze on admitting non-EEA students for certain programs, including computer science and engineering. Said a representative, “We are very pleased about this popularity, and our position in the league tables, but we want to ensure the quality of our education so unfortunately we have to take this step. It is important to have experiences with other cultures, but there must be a bit of a balance, and 50:50 Dutch and international is a nice number.”

Lutgerink, however, countered this approach while also citing the role played by internationalization in enriching the quality of education. “You can never say there should be a maximum or minimum of international students, but use it to the benefit of education,” she said.