Home Education Internationalisation within the Netherlands: a misrepresentation

Internationalisation within the Netherlands: a misrepresentation

Internationalisation within the Netherlands: a misrepresentation


This is the reason the brand new invoice proposed by the Dutch training ministry, aiming to successfully handle the variety of worldwide college students coming to the Netherlands, needs to be abolished!

What is going on?

There have been heated discussions not too long ago in the Netherlands across the rising inflow of worldwide college students enrolled on English-taught bachelor and grasp applications.

Inside the Dutch parliament a number of arguments have opposed the admission of worldwide college students and the variety of English-taught applications on supply. There’s a lack of general housing, lecture halls are overcrowded, training high quality is declining, the Dutch language deteriorating and Dutch college students being outcompeted and pushed out of applications by worldwide college students, detractors say.

The debates have resulted in a call to halt worldwide pupil recruitment.

“Worldwide college students solely symbolize 15% of the full pupil inhabitants registered at Dutch universities”

Minister­­ of Training, Robert Dijkgraaf, has launched the invoice proposing universities have authorized energy and stricter (exception) guidelines for English-taught applications to offer them management over insurance policies associated to language of instruction and pupil admissions.

The intention is to successfully scale back the variety of English-taught programs on supply and handle the variety of worldwide college students who come to the Netherlands.

Though regulation of worldwide pupil admissions and the variety of English-taught applications on supply may show helpful, within the Dutch media there’s a whole misrepresentation of what’s truly occurring and who’s being affected.

 Ought to the invoice be handed?

In its present state the invoice shouldn’t be handed. Extra thought and analysis must be carried and a brand new invoice drawn primarily based on proof and information.

The aim of the invoice is to steadiness the inflow of worldwide college students, but it surely must be clarified that this could solely apply to analysis universities and solely to particular programs at particular universities.

Moreover, the ‘Dutch language is deteriorating’ argument as a result of improve in worldwide applications is a fallacy.

The Netherlands – and the world – is turning into extra multicultural whether or not individuals prefer it or not. English is the world’s lingua franca for enterprise and science and I recommend that the actions below this level needs to be abolished.

Most Dutch universities need their graduates to develop intercultural competencies to be profitable and providing programs in English supplies establishments with a aggressive edge to draw various expertise amongst each college students and teachers.

Even so, nearly all of applications on supply are nonetheless supplied within the Dutch language.

The inflow of scholars solely impacts sure applications which might be well-liked amongst college students in search of to check in English. These applications are solely supplied in sure universities of the Netherlands.

Worldwide college students solely symbolize 15% of the full pupil inhabitants registered at Dutch universities.

Not everyone seems to be conscious of those information or both has or needs the complete story.

Headlines or statements round the Dutch language being threatened or Dutch college students being pushed out can result in anti-international pupil attitudes.

This narrative and actions to ‘eradicate’ the English language from Dutch increased training by capping applications and imposing the Dutch language, positively veers towards anti-foreigner, nationwide protectionism and xenophobia, i.e. the ‘let’s make the Netherlands nice once more’ message.

There are additionally worries that with fewer worldwide applications supplied, the invoice may lead to fewer worldwide lecturers at universities who convey perception and views from overseas and practice graduates to fill labour shortages.

I worry that if the recruitment of worldwide lecturers is stopped, it is going to have a knock-on impact on the variety of expert graduates every college produces in key sectors, equivalent to ICT and expertise, well being and training.

Dialogue round tutorial entry necessities to Dutch applications has additionally been uncared for on this debate.

To completely perceive the issues the Netherlands is dealing with, extra questions have to be requested and answered, readability and transparency on the scenario (supported by proof and information slightly than one-sided selective data) must be offered by each the federal government and lined by the media.

Nearly all of bachelors are supplied in Dutch

When authorities and media talk about internationalisation, they solely seek advice from one type – that’s worldwide pupil recruitment in applications taught solely in English.

In 2022/23, there had been 122,287 worldwide college students enrolled at publicly funded universities, accounting for less than 15% of all college students in Dutch increased training.

Nearly all of college bachelor’s applications are nonetheless supplied within the Dutch language

The federal government additionally fails to speak that 72% of worldwide college students learning at universities within the Netherlands come from the EU. Neighbouring Germany tops the origin nation checklist with 22,700 college students, adopted by Italy (7,600 college students) and Romania (6,700 college students).

Below EU legislation, college students from EU international locations have the identical rights and entry to Dutch training as Dutch college students. Because of this Dutch universities can’t refuse to simply accept these college students or implement totally different admission insurance policies for them.

“Nearly all of college bachelor’s applications are nonetheless supplied within the Dutch language”

You will need to make clear that the rising variety of worldwide pupil has been reported to principally have an effect on the nation’s 13 public analysis universities, and never universities of utilized sciences, of which there are 43.

With Germany the commonest nation of origin for worldwide college students, we see universities near the German-Dutch border – equivalent to in Maastricht and Groningen – with increased numbers of worldwide college students, particularly from Germany. That is logical and pure given the shut proximity between the 2 international locations.

Particular English-taught applications, for instance psychology programs, at analysis universities face the most important issues, however another English-taught masters applications obtain only a few or no worldwide college students regardless of being taught in English

Why do different EU international locations not expertise the identical downside?

Eire, Germany and The Netherlands reportedly supply the best variety of English-taught bachelor and grasp programs in Europe. Germany provides free tuition and Eire’s tuition charges are just like the Netherlands, however why does the Netherlands appear to be the one nation that has an inflow of worldwide college students?

Within the case of Eire, one purpose may very well be the aggressive, points-based entry necessities.

For EU candidates, a median of 10 within the Dutch VWO is equal to 600 factors. To be admitted to physiotherapy, a pupil should achieve 589 factors – equal to a median of a 9 in a Dutch qualification. These entry ranges are extraordinarily excessive for Irish college students, by no means thoughts Dutch college students.

It’s uncommon for Dutch pupil to attain a median of a 9 or 10 in secondary college, and it may clarify why the Netherlands has seen an inflow of Irish college students enrolling in English-taught programs, equivalent to physiotherapy.

In Germany, entry ranges are typically just like the Netherlands. Germany skilled roughly a 30.9% improve in worldwide college students between 2014 and 2019, and an increase of 37% from 2014 to 2022.

But, in distinction to the Netherlands, Germany sees worldwide college students as an asset to society and the financial system. The German Tutorial Change Service (DAAD) has additionally advisable that the German authorities put in place a method to double the retention of worldwide college students by 2030.

Menace to the Dutch language

A number of critics say that worldwide pupil will increase and English-taught applications are placing strain on the the Dutch language. In response to a authorities reportHet Beleidskompas, there was a mere 9% improve in the variety of English-taught applications on supply – this 9% is placing strain on the Dutch language inside training and science general, it urged.

That is laborious to consider, particularly when the rise is seen solely inside particular applications, and solely inside sure analysis universities.

The president of the Board of administrators, Geert ten Dam, at Amsterdam College was one of many first to lift the alarm bells on how the rising variety of worldwide college students is a risk to Dutch college students.

She has argued that Dutch college students are being outcompeted by college students from overseas. She additionally mentioned that, “There might come some extent once you say: it’s important to be taught Dutch if you wish to work or examine right here. We’re not there but, however I can think about it.”

Vice-president of the European Fee, Frans Timmermans, has responded that the “downside with our Dutch language is just not the truth that in increased training we use English to speak, it’s that we neglect to teach our kids at a really early age on talking, studying and listening to Dutch very effectively”.

The Dutch authorities not too long ago launched an on-line session on the internationalisation invoice. The talk will little question proceed.

In regards to the writer: Simone Hackett is senior lecturer at The Hague College of Utilized Sciences and a member of the EAIE Common Council for the 2022–2024 time period. 



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