Why so many international students are "going Dutch" this year.
The Netherlands attracts thousands of international students each year. In 2018, however, there has been an influx of students from abroad never seen before. According to The Irish Times, over 1,000 Irish students are heading for further education in the Netherlands this year. They highlighted lower tuition fees, fewer points required for entry, and smaller class sizes as major draws.
Small class size – an important factor in the learning environment
So what attracts students to the smaller Dutch universities like Wittenborg? At Wittenborg, currently ranked the 4th best small university of applied sciences in the Netherlands, maintaining small class sizes is a high priority, enabling students to interact with peers and teachers, both on an individual or group level. According to Wittenborg's chair of executive board, Peter Birdsall "It's all about the classroom experience". Research reported this year in the magazine BioScience has shown that smaller class size improves academic results and reduces performance gaps.
Community building in a multi-cultural environment – not getting lost in the crowd
Moving to another country is challenging enough, and making friends can be difficult too – especially in crowded environments. Smaller universities benefit from greater possibilities for students to build a community, bond and make friends, or meet people they would not have otherwise encountered. One of the most popular aspects of Wittenborg, besides its easy-going atmosphere and English-taught programmes, is the internationalisation and multi-culturalism it promotes. At Wittenborg, with over 100 nationalities represented, it is not unusual to find a group of friends, all from completely different parts of the world, hanging out in the canteen, making it truly a "international" experience.
Wittenborg regularly scores highly in student satisfaction. As one recent Wittenborg graduate, Ghanaian Jay Darko, with an IBA in Marketing & Communication, put it: “You get quality international education at a relatively cheaper cost, while at the same time staying in one of the safest and happiest countries in the world.”
by Rousanna Baird
©Wittenborg University Press