The Netherlands government wants more foreign students to come and study at its educational institutions. The year 2014 saw the country housing more than 60,000 foreign students. In 2016, 10 percent of students at Dutch educational institutions were foreigners.
The Netherlands is, however, not content with this, as it feels that overseas students contribute a lot to the country’s society and its economy only if they opt to work and reside there. Figures reveal that only one in four students opted to stay in the Netherlands for a longer duration. To make Holland a long-term destination for foreign students, the country’s government and Nuffic (an organisation for international cooperation in higher education) are trying to understand why students are not staying back.
Although students cite culture and weather as the major issues affecting them, the main hurdles seem to be language and the availability of jobs.
Statistics gathered by Nuffic reveal that around 70 percent of foreign students would not mind staying back in Holland, but they find it tough to procure employment if they lack proficiency in Dutch. Even as pursuing higher education in Holland is not tough for English language speakers, fluency in Dutch is necessary at workplaces.
Since it would require 500-600 hours of study to learn Dutch, the government is working on creating new, interactive ways of promoting the language. It is also working on ‘Orientation Year permit’, a new initiative, that would provide overseas students a better opportunity of getting a job and staying on in the Netherlands.
Aimed at students from non-EU nations, it will allow these foreign students one year’s leave to stay in the country after graduation during which period they can seek employment. This permit, which will be effective from this year, will allow students to work immediately after completion of graduation.
Indian students can take note of these initiatives being implemented by the Dutch government if they wish to study and work in the Netherlands.