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University students more likely to opt for applied sciences

THE NETHERLANDS. Students at Dutch universities are increasingly opting for applied sciences, with technical subjects, natural sciences and agriculture the fastest growing sectors in the last five years.

A survey by the universities’ union VSNU found that 6450 students started a technical course this academic year, representing a 24% increase on the figure in 2012. Natural sciences grew by 22% to 4724, while agriculture reported a 39% leap to 1,486.

A separate study commissioned by education minister Jet Bussemaker found that school leavers are increasingly choosing to go to university rather than vocational college. University entries rose by 8% last year to 47,316, while the number of new HBO students was up by 5% to 98,809.

The number of first-year undergraduates increased in almost every sector, with the exception of language and culture, which experienced a 2.5% fall.

The total number of first-year students is at a record high of 265,000, a 12% increase over the last five years. The number of students starting masters’ degrees has risen by 13.2% over the same period to 42,217.

This article appeared first on

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