Internationalisation in the Netherlands: a misrepresentation

This is why the new invoice proposed by the Dutch instruction ministry, aiming to correctly take care of the amount of international learners coming to the Netherlands, should be abolished!

What is taking place?

There have been heated discussions a short while ago in the Netherlands all-around the rising influx of intercontinental college students enrolled on English-taught bachelor and grasp packages.

Within just the Dutch parliament various arguments have opposed the admission of intercontinental students and the number of English-taught system on offer. There is a lack of general housing, lecture halls are overcrowded, education good quality is declining, the Dutch language deteriorating and Dutch learners staying outcompeted and pushed out of packages by global students, detractors say.

The debates have resulted in a decision to halt intercontinental university student recruitment.

“International college students only signify 15% of the complete university student population registered at Dutch universities”

Minister­­ of Education and learning, Robert Dijkgraaf, has introduced the bill proposing universities have authorized power and stricter (exception) procedures for English-taught courses to give them control over policies related to language of instruction and pupil admissions.

The goal is to effectively minimize the range of English-taught programs on offer and regulate the quantity of intercontinental college students who come to the Netherlands.

Although regulation of international college student admissions and the number of English-taught applications on present could establish beneficial, in the Dutch media there is a complete misrepresentation of what is actually happening and who is staying influenced.

 Ought to the monthly bill be handed?

In its existing point out the monthly bill need to not be handed. More considered and study requires to be carried and a new bill drawn primarily based on evidence and details.

The intent of the invoice is to balance the influx of global learners, but it requirements to be clarified that this should really only apply to research universities and only to distinct classes at particular universities.

Also, the ‘Dutch language is deteriorating’ argument due to the enhance in international systems is a fallacy.

The Netherlands – and the world – is turning out to be additional multicultural whether people today like it or not. English is the world’s lingua franca for business enterprise and science and I suggest that the steps underneath this stage need to be abolished.

Most Dutch universities want their graduates to develop intercultural competencies to be successful and presenting courses in English provides institutions with a completive edge to attract assorted expertise among the the two students and lecturers.

Even so, the the greater part of courses on offer are nevertheless offered in the Dutch language.

The influx of students only affects specific applications that are well-liked among the pupils trying to find to study in English. Those people programs are only presented in sure areas of the Netherlands.

Worldwide learners only symbolize 15% of the complete pupil population registered at Dutch universities.

Not everybody is informed of these specifics or either has or wants the comprehensive tale.

Headlines or statements around the Dutch language being threatened or Dutch learners currently being pushed out can guide to anti-global university student attitudes.

This narrative and steps to ‘eradicate’ the English language from Dutch larger education by capping plans and enforcing the Dutch language, definitely veers towards anti-foreigner, national protectionism and xenophobia, i.e. the ‘let’s make the Netherlands excellent again’ information.

There are also concerns that with fewer intercontinental applications made available, the invoice could final result in fewer international lecturers at universities who bring insight and views from abroad and train graduates to fill labour shortages.

I worry that if the recruitment of international lecturers is stopped, it will have a knock-on outcome on the quantity of competent graduates every university generates in critical sectors, such as ICT and technological innovation, wellness and education.

Discussion all-around academic entry requirements to Dutch applications has also been neglected in this debate.

To totally have an understanding of the troubles the Netherlands is struggling with, a lot more questions have to have to be requested and answered, clarity and transparency on the situation (supported by proof and points fairly than just one-sided selective information and facts) demands to be presented by both equally the federal government and protected by the media.

The the greater part of bachelors are offered in Dutch

When federal government and media talk about internationalisation, they only refer to one variety – that is international student recruitment in programs taught totally in English.

In 2022/23, there were 122,287 worldwide learners enrolled at publicly funded universities, accounting for only 15% of all students in Dutch bigger education.

The the vast majority of university bachelor’s systems are nevertheless provided in the Dutch language

The authorities also fails to communicate that 72% of international college students finding out at universities in the Netherlands arrive from the EU. Neighbouring Germany tops the origin nation checklist with 22,700 learners, followed by Italy (7,600 college students) and Romania (6,700 college students).

Beneath EU law, students from EU international locations have the exact legal rights and entry to Dutch schooling as Dutch students. This means that Dutch universities can’t refuse to accept these pupils or employ distinct admission procedures for them.

“The bulk of college bachelor’s courses are even now supplied in the Dutch language”

It is crucial to make clear that the climbing selection of global pupil has been documented to generally influence the country’s 13 community study universities, and not universities of utilized sciences, of which there are 43.

With Germany the most popular region of origin for global college students, we see universities close to the German-Dutch border – such as in Maastricht and Groningen – with better figures of international pupils, specifically from Germany. This is logical and purely natural presented the near proximity amongst the two nations around the world.

Distinct English-taught plans, for illustration psychology classes, at exploration universities encounter the most significant complications, but some other English-taught masters plans receive very couple or no international students despite remaining taught in English

Why do other EU nations around the world not expertise the similar trouble?

Ireland, Germany and The Netherlands reportedly offer the maximum range of English-taught bachelor and master courses in Europe. Germany features cost-free tuition and Ireland’s tuition expenses are related to the Netherlands, but why does the Netherlands seem to be the only place that has an inflow of intercontinental college students?

In the case of Ireland, one purpose could be the competitive, points-dependent entry demands.

For EU candidates, an normal of 10 in the Dutch VWO is equal to 600 details. To be admitted to physiotherapy, a pupil ought to get 589 details – equivalent to an normal of a 9 in a Dutch qualification. These entry ranges are particularly significant for Irish college students, by no means thoughts Dutch college students.

It is uncommon for Dutch university student to score an normal of a 9 or 10 in secondary college, and it could demonstrate why the Netherlands has witnessed an influx of Irish pupils enrolling in English-taught classes, this sort of as physiotherapy.

In Germany, entry levels have a tendency to be similar to the Netherlands. Germany knowledgeable approximately a 30.9% boost in intercontinental learners between 2014 and 2019, and a increase of 37% from 2014 to 2022.

Still, in distinction to the Netherlands, Germany sees global college students as an asset to culture and the overall economy. The German Educational Exchange Service (DAAD) has also encouraged that the German federal government place in position a tactic to double the retention of global students by 2030.

Risk to the Dutch language

Several critics say that worldwide college student boosts and English-taught packages are putting tension on the the Dutch language. According to a government report, Het Beleidskompas, there was a mere 9% raise in the number of English-taught packages on offer – this 9% is putting tension on the Dutch language within education and science all round, it instructed.

This is tough to believe that, particularly when the improve is viewed only inside particular applications, and only inside sure study universities.

The president of the Board of administrators, Geert ten Dam, at Amsterdam University was one of the to start with to elevate the alarm bells on how the escalating variety of international college students is a menace to Dutch students.

She has argued that Dutch learners are becoming outcompeted by college students from overseas. She also said that, “There may perhaps arrive a point when you say: you have to discover Dutch if you want to operate or review right here. We’re not there however, but I can imagine it.”

Vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has responded that the “problem with our Dutch language is not the fact that in bigger education we use English to connect, it is that we neglect to teach our youngsters at a quite early age on talking, reading through and listening to Dutch really well”.

The Dutch governing administration a short while ago introduced an online consultation on the internationalisation bill. The discussion will no question carry on.

About the creator: Simone Hackett is senior lecturer at The Hague University of Utilized Sciences and a member of the EAIE Basic Council for the 2022–2024 expression. 

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