Internationalisation in the Netherlands: an uncertain, volatile landscape

PVV won 37 seats out of 150, far more than any other get together and this offers PVV the initiative to sort a new Dutch federal government and decide on the subsequent Key Minister.

Many in higher education and learning, both Dutch and global college students and team, are still left in shock, anger and disbelief. There is a wave of disappointment and unhappiness. This result delivers a major blow to equally internationalisation pursuits and the financing of increased instruction.

And raises the issue no matter whether Dutch universities, that encourage inclusive training for their various student and personnel inhabitants, can continue on to make a risk-free successful finding out and work natural environment for their pupils and employees.

These developments and issues set us back again in generating development and depart the foreseeable future of internationalisation of increased instruction in the Netherlands very uncertain and unstable.

Geert Wilders and PVV)

Celebration for Independence (PVV) front male Geert Wilders has structurally discriminated versus big groups of people in Netherlands, is in favour of referendum on a ‘nexit’, absolutely did away with weather fears and sees Putin as an ally to battle immigration.

Wilders, who could perhaps be the future prime minister of the Netherlands, has mentioned in the earlier “I don’t detest Muslims, I hate Islam” and has claimed that he wants all immigration of Muslims halted. Dependent on his anti-Islamic sights, Wilders has been banned from coming into certain nations around the world these as the Uk and also been taken to court for hatred and discrimination crimes.

PVV has no associates, aside from Geert Wilders – a one gentleman show.

Left-wing events these kinds of a PvdA/Groen Backlinks and D66 arrived out on top in densely populated metropolitan areas with lots of universities and college students these types of as Utrecht, Amsterdam, Groningen, Eindhoven, Nijmegen, Zwolle and many others. But Wilders (PVV) arrived out on best in the relaxation of the Netherlands (see graphic 1), ensuing in PVV quickly getting to be the major occasion in the Netherlands.

A distribution of the instructional degree of the voters who voted for PVV was created by countrywide information outlet NOS which demonstrates massive dissimilarities in between the get-togethers (see image 2). This election victory brings PVV’s outrageous ambitions centre stage and sends shockwaves all over the Netherlands and abroad.

Internationalisation of Greater Education and learning in the Netherlands

These types of intense views do not just end at the immigration of Muslims. In the past calendar year, Dutch conservatives these kinds of as Wilders (PVV) and Pieter Omtzigt (New Social Agreement), who the two have very distinct political agendas, but have voiced their views in opposition to internationalisation and want to severely restrict immigration such as global students who appear to examine, live and do the job in the Netherlands.

Each Wilders and Omtzigt utilized populist tactics including spreading misinformation, twisting the specifics and producing fake promises to the general public, to win the common vote.

This incorporated exaggerating data similar to international college students, using selective information or creating false allegations which are simply just not correct, this kind of as claiming that global students are pushing Dutch learners out of college locations or that they are a major contribution to the Dutch housing disaster.

Wilders also claimed in his PVV election programme that internationalisation has made college inaccessible for kids of Dutch taxpayers and that the Dutch language has been marginalised.

These two claims are fallacies as the vast majority of programmes inside the Netherlands are presented in the Dutch language and all Dutch learners have entry to greater instruction (both at a vocational degree faculty, university of used sciences or investigation universities) relying on their educational deserves and all have their tuition expenses seriously subsidised, which includes getting more grants.

The internationalisation in harmony bill proposed by the Dutch govt very last Spring was the final result of these anti-internationalisation discussions. Most global college students who review in the Netherlands come from the EU.

For that reason, Dutch universities cannot refuse to settle for these pupils or apply distinctive admission procedures for them. The only way to limit EU students coming to the Netherlands is by means of not presenting English-taught programs and/or a Dutch language prerequisite.

As this kind of, the monthly bill proposes to cut down the range of English taught courses on present and implement the Dutch language and in executing so lessen the quantity of worldwide learners and staff members inside Dutch higher schooling. The Dutch language is getting made use of as a barrier and exclusion resource.

This of course has repercussions and will restrict the possibilities of constructing intercontinental relations for enterprise and science and limit alternatives for Dutch pupils to further more acquire intercultural competencies and English language techniques which they will will need to be marketable and profitable in a multicultural globe.


Quite a few Dutch universities, skilled networks and small business organisations as well as the Erasmus Pupil Network (ESN) in the Netherlands and the  Younger Academy of Experts, have demonstrated solid opposition to the monthly bill and spotlight the drastic penalties of the bill on equally schooling and science as properly as on the labour lack and Dutch economic system.

The political debates close to internationalisation have also resulted in intercontinental learners and personnel sensation much less welcomed at universities in the Netherlands. it has been instructed that some universities will not give in and will attempt to maintain their global profile and intercontinental routines and will do so by protesting, lobbying and submitting lawsuits.

Minister Dijkgraaf warned universities to get ready for a worst-circumstance circumstance

Before the elections, the existing minister for bigger education, Robert Dijkgraaf, warned Dutch universities that dim clouds are collecting over bigger training and right after the elections more constraints on internationalisation of higher education and learning as nicely as funding could be proposed.

He sent a letter to universities urging them to occur up with their possess strategy on how to deal with internationalisation and not depart it up to the politicians.

While at the time Dijkgraaf was most likely a lot more anxious with NSC turning out to be the greatest celebration, offered the final result of the recent elections, he was proper in warning universities to prepare for the worst.

“The political debates have also resulted in intercontinental college students and personnel emotion considerably less welcomed”

If a new govt is inevitably formed, the question continues to be what will transpire with the internationalisation equilibrium bill and the proposed strategies pertaining to internationalisation and worldwide learners.


Although 25% of Dutch citizens voted for PVV, providing it the most significant earn, 75% of Dutch citizens did not vote for PVV and the results of the election have not been accepted without having unrest.

Already the left-wing get together PvdA has held demonstrations in the Netherlands in protest to exclusion and discrimination stating that “the election is a blow and that they will in no way take that persons are excluded and discriminated against”.

Immediately after the elections, Frans Timmermans, who is the chief of the PVDA/GL, and previous Vice-president of the European Fee,  stated that “that all people in the Netherlands is equal” and “we’ve received your back”.

There have also been suggestions that there may well be difficulties for the newly elected get-togethers to variety a coalition alongside one another, particularly with Wilders programs to leave the EU, and all might find it complicated to continue to keep to the several promises they have made to the general public. If a coalition can’t be fashioned, Dutch citizens might find themselves back at the ballot bins following yr.

These election effects are pretty disappointing and depart not only internationalisation of bigger instruction in a quite uncertain, volatile condition but also society as a full.

However, the results also emphasise foremost the responsibility we have ourselves, and also as instructional organisations, to uphold our values and attempt for a just, sustainable and inclusive planet.

A obligation to acquire motion, alternatively than wait for federal government intervention and do what we can inside of the constraints and challenges that lie in advance.

About the creator: Simone Hackett is senior lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and a member of the EAIE Typical Council for the 2022–2024 time period. 

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