International students participate in BuddyGoDutch's Matching Day in 2018. Photo: DUB

Almost 60 percent of international students plan to stay in the Netherlands 

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Over half of the international students currently studying in the Netherlands say they plan to stay in the country after graduating. Despite the coronavirus crisis, this is about the same percentage as last year, reports Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education.

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Nuffic sent out a questionnaire to international students in September and received over 400 responses, which is not exactly a representative sample, so the organisation has unveiled the findings asking readers to take them with a grain of salt.

Not much has changed 
The survey reveals that 57 percent of respondents would like to stay in the Netherlands after graduating, either to pursue a career or to continue their studies. Students from outside the European Economic Area, strongly over-represented in the survey, are a little more committed to a Dutch future than Europeans: 59 percent of them are planning to stick around. 

For the time being, it seems that little has changed. According to figures published earlier this year by Statistics Netherlands, half of the international students who graduated in 2019-2020 were still in the Netherlands by January 2021. In the years preceding the coronavirus outbreak, this percentage was roughly the same.  

High standard of living 
The high standard of living and the quality of research and education are their main reasons for wanting to stay. Those who intend to leave cite poor job prospects, the complicated housing market and the way the Dutch government is handling the coronavirus crisis.

International students who have been following their studies online, from their home countries, are less inclined to come to the Netherlands (40 percent) than those who completed at least part of their programme here (60 percent). 

From previous research, Nuffic knows that students in fields with a shortage of graduates are more likely to stay. This applies to tech and engineering and, to a lesser extent, to programmes in education and health.

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