Dec 6, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Not only are more students from around the world choosing the Netherlands for their international study destinations, but many are opting to remain after their study programs are completed, according to Dutch organization for education internationalization Nuffic. Here’s a closer look at the findings, as reported by I am Expat.

Doubling Numbers

The number of international students pursuing full-time degree courses at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands has doubled from 40,000 to 80,000 over the last decade. Diversity has also increased among the international student population, which now comprises 164 nationalities.

Amsterdam and Maastricht are drawing the largest share of international students with approximately 10,000 international students each, trailed by Rotterdam and Groningen with 8,000 international students each. When evaluated according to size, however, Maastricht tops the list with international students making up a whopping 50 percent of the student population. The Hague, Delft, and Wageningen also fared well at 20 percent each.

What They’re Studying

Nuffic’s data also links countries of origin to both degree and city choices. Specifically, students from Asia and China are drawn to engineering, international business & management, and economics degrees at technical universities in Eindhoven, Delft and Wageningen, as well as business programs in Groningen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, British students lean toward liberal arts and sciences and European studies, while Germans opt for economics and business studies as well as human and social sciences. And while Southern Europeans tend to choose traditional research universities, Eastern Europeans are more likely to be found in major cities at universities of applied sciences.

Living and Working

Equally noteworthy? The number of international students who continued to live and work in the Netherlands after completing their study programs: Of the 12,000 international students who complete degrees at Dutch institutions every year, approximately half remain three years of graduation; 42 percent stay for at least five decades; and 25 percent make the Netherlands their permanent home. 

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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