How is COVID-19 affecting international students’ plans to study in the Netherlands?

Considering that many countries are in the midst of the global COVID19 crisis, it is safe to say that the internationalisation of higher education will be profoundly impacted by it. Travel restrictions and uncertainties will hamper both incoming and outgoing mobility of students and university staff worldwide. A significant drop in incoming student mobility in Dutch higher education is to be expected in the coming academic year. However, much is still unknown and many questions remain unanswered. With this study, we aim to find answers to some of these questions and gain more insight. We hope to contribute to an informed response by Dutch higher education institutions and other stakeholders in the sector by sharing the information we have.

This report focuses exclusively on incoming international students, although COVID-19 may be expected to have an effect on outgoing mobility as well. Nuffic will be conducting another assessment that will focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the theme of outgoing mobility of Dutch students. This analysis in threefold and is based on A) incoming degree mobility statistics 2019-2020; B) results from a survey sent to prospect students in the ten countries with a Netherlands Education Support Office (Neso) and C) country-specific information on each of the Neso countries. We conducted this survey to gauge the effect of COVID-19 on non-EU/EEA students’ plans to study in the Netherlands and gain a better insight into the effects of the pandemic on the (near) and more distant future.

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