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‘Dutch universities reach deal to limit (foreign) student numbers’

THE NETHERLANDS. The 13 Dutch universities have reached agreement on braking the growth in student numbers, particularly from abroad, the NRC said on Friday.

The plan will be presented to education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven on Monday and will outline how the universities plan to slow student number growth and if more limits will be placed on the number of first years taking certain courses. Universities in the Netherlands are largely funded according to the number of students they have. However, because the total university spending budget has not increased, they are being given less cash per student, the paper said. This means, the universities say, that it is more sensible to try to limit student numbers instead. There has been a 10% rise in the number of students attending university in the Netherlands since 2013, with the total now reaching 275,000. Foreign students, most of whom come from the EU, now account for 48,000 of the total. There has also been mounting criticism of the way universities are encouraging foreign students to sign up and switching to English-language teaching, which some say is disadvantaging Dutch students. The minister is due to publish her views on the internationalisation of the Dutch higher education sector in the autumn.

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