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Still at the center of the world

Oct 04, 2021


Once the center of global trade, the Netherlands was at the crossroads cultures spanning the globe – from its neighbors in Europe to its former colonies in Southeast Asia. That globalized outlook and openness to other cultures is deeply ingrained among the Dutch.

Certainly, it is those same traits that have kept the Netherlands an important trading hub, a major industrial power and an innovative learning center.

Dutch Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven

In March, GMI Post interviewed Dutch Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven to ask her about the enduring appeal of obtaining higher education in the Netherland for hundreds of international students and researchers.

GMI Post: How important are Chinese students, in particular, to the Netherlands?

van Engelshoven: Chinese students are the third largest group of international students in the Netherlands, after the Germans and Italians. Between 2019 and 2020, the Chinese made up around 5% of the number of international students in the Netherlands.

GMI Post: What are the competitive advantages of Dutch universities for international students?

van Engelshoven: Dutch universities, both our research universities and universities of applied sciences, offer very accessible, high quality education.

GMI Post: What distinguishes the Netherlands from other European countries when it comes to its international educational experience for Chinese students?

van Engelshoven: Dutch higher education institutions have more international courses and English-taught courses than other European countries. Aside from that, many of our research universities top global rankings consistently.

GMI Post: What measures are the government taking to encourage more international students to come to the Netherlands?

van Engelshoven: Our policy to attract international students has been very successful. At the moment, we are not instituting new measures to attract more international students. To make education here more attractive, we are working harmonizing the needs of the labor market with the programs most popular with our international students.

Education in Western Europe 2021 was prepared for and originally printed in Forbes China magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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