Internationals at Dutch universities feel chill in the air

Internationals at Dutch universities feel chill in the air

Survey: around 30 percent are considering leaving the Netherlands due to the current internationalisation debate

23-11-2023 · News

THE NETHERLANDS. Many internationals at Dutch universities feel less welcome now than when they arrived, a poll by six university magazines shows. This is mainly due to the political debate on migration.

The survey was taken by a total of 1,330 students and staff in Groningen, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Delft, Wageningen and Twente. Over 70 percent say they felt welcome when they arrived in the Netherlands, but only 55 percent feel welcome today. The share of respondents feeling unwanted rose from 16.5 percent upon arrival to 25 percent now.

Almost half say that the reason is the increasingly negative way Dutch politicians talk about internationals. Around 30 percent are considering leaving the Netherlands due to the current internationalisation debate.

Shocking

In DUB, a German researcher from the Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University is “shocked how in the past 5 years the discourse has changed from a rather ideological endorsement of internationalisation, as if it was a goal in itself, to a similarly ideological rejection of internationalisation, as if it was the source of all social problems, from the housing crisis to work pressure at universities”.

Optimism

Not everyone shares this level of pessimism. In the Groningen UKrant, which took the initiative for the poll, a Canadian lecturer says that she’s not even close to leaving: “I’m being optimistic that the discussion about internationals is a temporary thing, that people will get used to the increase of English speakers and that the housing crisis will be solved. Also, the university community is very open to us. So there is enough for us to stay.”

The Netherlands voted yesterday. With 37 seats, the PVV has emerged as the largest party in the Dutch House of Representatives. The newly founded NSC party has won twenty seats. Both parties want to call a halt to the internationalisation of higher education and research in the Netherlands.
 

HOP, Hein Cuppen
Translation: Taalcentrum-VU

Author: Redactie

Photo: Shutterstock

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: internationalisation,internationals,education,research

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