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Engagement of international students with the Dutch labour market necessary

‘Make it in the Netherlands’ action plan presented

Today, in the presence of more than 800 international students in The Hague, VSNU Chairman Karl Dittrich and Education Minister Bussemaker launched the action plan ‘Make it in the Netherlands’. The plan aims to forge closer links between international students and the Dutch labour market. VSNU Chairman Karl Dittrich: ‘Internationalisation of higher education is important for welfare, innovation and the Dutch knowledge economy. An increase in foreign talent staying in the Netherlands for good is therefore more than welcome.’


In April of this year the VSNU announced the recommendation from the Social Economic Council on embracing the engagement of foreign students with the Netherlands. The subsequent government response and the ‘Make it in the Netherlands’ action plan presented here today have the support of the universities.

Between 19% and 27% of international students stay in the Netherlands to live. In a bid to increase that percentage, the action plan emphasises, among other things, the need for a wide range of Dutch language courses. To promote the integration of foreign students, we should also consider special buddy programmes with Dutch students, and Dutch business must create sufficient, and appealing, training placements. Karl Dittrich: ‘These and many other action points from the plan are being adopted by the universities’.

The Netherlands is a wealthy country thanks to its international economy. The universities know that the international students of today are the CEOs, scientists, academics and diplomats of tomorrow. Their future contacts are of vital importance to the Netherlands. The arrival of international students also strengthens Dutch education. They contribute to the international character of the programmes and foster a more ambitious attitude towards study among Dutch students. Even when international students leave the Netherlands, their network fosters new connections with foreign universities and companies.  


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Ruben Puylaert


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Liselotte de Langen

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