The past few years have proved that it is difficult to estimate the growth of universities. The approximate number of grammar school leavers is known, but how many students will come from abroad in the future? The ministry actually doesn't dare look beyond the 2023/2024 academic year.
The figures, however, are spectacular. The ministry assumes that in that year 70 thousand foreign students will be enrolled, almost 20 thousand of whom will be from outside Europe. That is a considerable increase. Last year, there were 47 thousand.
What will happen after that? Time will tell. The forecasts extend to 2060, but from 2024 onwards, it is not a hard and fast prediction. Figures then only follow demographic trends.
In the past few years, for that matter, more students than predicted came to study at Dutch universities, which resulted in a budget deficit for the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science. The education and finance ministries are pondering on the question of how to make more accurate forecasts.
HOP, Bas Belleman