The number of students grew significantly over the past few decades. Growth is expected to continue again in the coming years. To deal with this properly, UNL writes in its coverage, a change in the higher education system is necessary. UNL president Pieter Duisenberg: "The firm investments of this government ensure that, with the same number of students, we can put the basis at universities in order in terms of workload and more time for research. But the current system is not future-proof. We hope that the Toekomstverkenning onderwijs en wetenschap leads to a system that better suits what is needed in terms of knowledge and talent and makes funding less dependent on student numbers and market shares."
UNL's message also outlines the striking development that fewer vwo graduates are moving directly on to university. 67% of last year's vwo graduates started college this academic year. In past years, this was between 72% and 75%. This could be due to the reintroduction of the basic scholarship, which does not take place until the 2023/2024 academic year, and to the fact that students were able to take a gap year more easily this year, as opposed to in the corona era.
The number of first-year undergraduate students is down 4.6%. As a result, the number of new bachelor's students decreases in almost all sectors, except for natural science studies. At VU, the percentage of first-year bachelor's students is also decreasing. Compared to last year, 6.8 percent fewer students are starting a bachelor's program at VU Amsterdam. Enrollment in the master's program is also falling, by 11.3 percent, but is still higher than before the corona period. At VU, the same percentage is at -11.8 percent.
There are over 85,000 international students enrolled at a Dutch university this year. That's 7.3 percent more than last year. At VU, 6610 international students are currently enrolled. Compared to last year, that is 14.1 percent more international enrollments. Although international enrollments are still increasing VU-wide, the inflow of new international students VU-wide is decreasing (-4.7%), mainly due to a decrease in international enrollment in the master's program (-14.2%). The international bachelor's intake is still increasing (+11.6%). Because in recent years the inflow had grown strongly and those students are still studying, we do not yet see this decrease reflected in the total number of international enrollments. Due to issues in the housing market, for example, VU continues to urge international students to withdraw their enrollment if they cannot find housing.
This news item is based on the press release issued today by UNL and data from UNL's website (March 14, 2023). For the entire message including available enrollment figures, consult UNL's website.