Study in Netherlands is popular in Russia!

Over 70% of study abroad consultants and agents say that there is an increased interest in the Netherlands as a study destination, according to a Wittenborg University Press survey carried out during the 2018 ICEF Moscow Workshop held this week.

70% of Russian agents see an increase in interest for 'study in Holland'

More and more Russian students are looking at the possibility of studying in the Netherlands, and thanks to promotions such as ‘Study in Holland’ by the Netherlands Educution Support Office (Neso), which is part of the ‘Nuffic’ organisation and international Dutch universities such as Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, there has been a steady increase in interest and students heading from Russia to study in Holland, since 2014.

Russian students and from other former CIS countries can enter Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences directly after high school (11 years). For research universities in the Netherlands, students are always required to follow a foundation year, according to agents who participated.

Wittenborg has been recruiting in Russia and ‘former CIS’ countries since 2014, and the Neso has been extremely active in recent years, promoting the ’studyinholland’ brand. Over 50% of agents say they have actually heard of the concept ‘Study in Holland’ whilst around 39% of agents say that they have had some contact with Nuffic or the Neso.

Currently, around 5% of Wittenborg's 700+ international students are from Russian speaking countries, and with current applications up, this number is set to increase, in line with overall growth in the coming year.

Whilst 43% of agents stated that student accommodation was the number one concern of Russian students wanting to study in the Netherlands, 35% of agents said that post-study work possibilities and the possibility to work during their study was a deciding factor for Russian students.

Students who have graduated from Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences with a bachelor's or master's degree are allowed to search for a job in the Netherlands for a maximum period of one year. This arrangement, known as the 'orientation year' or 'job search year' is open to all international graduates from the Netherlands, for up to three years after graduation.


Wittenborg University attended the ICEF Moscow workshop, as well as visiting the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, whilst also meeting student’s parents and visiting the offices of Neso.

Last week, together with Jerke Verschoor, Neso director, Wittenborg’s chair, Peter Birdsall gave a presentation on Study in Holland, and Quality Systems in Dutch Higher Education, to ICEF agents.

WUP 28/3/2018

By James Wittenborg

©Wittenborg University Press