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Internationalisation financially advantageous to the Netherlands

Internationalisation is financially advantageous to the Netherlands. That was what the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis wrote in a memorandum on the economic consequences of internationalisation in education.

In the memorandum, the CPB sketches a picture of the population of foreign students who follow a full degree programme in higher education in the Netherlands (exchange students are therefore not included). In addition to distinguishing between students at research universities and at universities of applied sciences, the researchers also distinguish between graduates from the European Economic Region (the EER, consisting of the European Union Member States as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and graduates from other countries (the non-EER graduates).

Attractive country
The Netherlands is an attractive country in which to settle for the latter category. Within a year of obtaining their Bachelor’s degree, nearly half of the non-EER students who graduate (48 percent) are employed in the Netherlands (or looking for work). Although that share declines to one-third after five years, it is still quite high, especially in comparison with EER Bachelor’s graduates, who are not as keen on pursuing a career in the Netherlands. Within a year of graduation, only one out of six is still residing in the Netherlands, and nine out of ten have left within five years of earning their degree.

Even the students who seek opportunities elsewhere immediately after completing their education make a contribution to the coffers

Graduates from outside the EER who get a job in the Netherlands work more hours than average. They get paid less, but that changes the longer they stay in the Netherlands. Their chances of employment are high, because they enrol in technology and economics degree programmes.

China and Germany
During the 2017-2018 academic year, 25,815 foreign students were enrolled in an undergraduate degree programme, more than double the number in 2012. A good three-quarters (19,982) of them came from an EER country, chiefly Germany. The rest (5,833 students) came from elsewhere, with China as the most frequent country of origin.

Financially, the presence of foreign students is favourable regardless. Even the students who seek opportunities elsewhere immediately after completing their education make a contribution to the coffers. On average, one student in higher professional education from outside the EER brings in €68,500. Although this amount is lower for students in higher professional education from EER countries, they still generate some €5,000 for the tax authorities.