Dutch cabinet wants to “entice” foreign students to stay!

Jet Bussemaker - Minister of Education NetherlandsWUP 21/11/12 Dutch cabinet wants to “entice” foreign students to stay!  The opportunity for international students to stay in the Netherlands after graduation has been available to them for some years now. However the majority of international students leave within a few years of graduation, taking with them the knowledge and skills they learnt in Holland.

Newly installed Minister Jet Bussemaker (Education) wants to know how the Netherlands can entice international students to stay here after their studies. For that reason she has asked an advisory body known as the “Sociaal-Economische Raad (SER)” to find out what companies, schools, universities and the government can do to give international talent a better bond with Holland.

‘We get smart people to come to Holland and now we have to figure out a way to keep some of those bright people here’ according to Bussemaker after last Friday’s meeting of Ministers in the newly formed cabinet of Mark Rutte. Mrs Bussemaker went on to say that “it will bring us knowledge and income (for the Netherlands) if the international students would stay here after their studies. Currently there are 87.000 international students in the Netherlands, studying at a University. Most of them go back to their own country when they graduate. If we can convince 1 of 5 students to stay, that could produce 740 million euros for the government.”

Knowledge: Not only is the financial contribution of an international student important, says Bussemaker. In the Netherlands we are desperate for talent in some of the branches. International students can contribute their knowledge to those sectors.

The research into how the Netherlands can attract more of its international graduates to stay will be completed next year.

Knowledge Migrants: Currently, Bachelor and Master Graduates can change their purpose of residence to “searching for work”, after they complete their programmes. They then have 1 year to find suitable employment with a minimum 1 year contract – this means they can stay in the Netherlands.

Many Wittenborg University students continue into the “Search Year” after study, but often it seems that the year is used as an extension of their time in Holland, while they prepare to leave and study or work elsewhere, either back home or in another country. Wittenborg is currently starting a research project into the whereabouts of its graduates and the motivation behind those who left the country for doing so.

WUP 21/11/12