COVID-19: 44% of Netherlands non-EU students consider changing study plans

COVID-19: 44% of Netherlands non-EU students consider changing study plans

Nearly half of the prospective non-EU international students (44%) headed to the Netherlands are currently considering changing their study plans, a Nuffic study has found.

Amongst the preferred options for non-EU students were deferring for a year or commencing their studies in the first subsequent period possible after Coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The study by Nuffic attempted to assess how COVID-19 is affecting international students’ plans to study in the Netherlands.

The second most popular option expressed by foreign students would be to commence on-campus education in September this year (stated by 38% of the prospective students).

In the academic year 2019/20, as much as 12.3% of the Netherlands’ entire enrolled student body was international students.

The study gauged the current position of non-EU students hoping to engage in international higher education in the Netherlands, and surveyed a total of 941 prospective students from non-EU countries.

Amidst the fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic, the vast majority of these students (80%) still intend to study in the Netherlands.

36% international students not sure whether to stick to original study abroad plans

However, a significant number of these surveyed students stressed that they felt significant uncertainties in the face of the current situation.

Although a large proportion of the respondents (40%) have stated that they are not deterred from studying in the Netherlands, 24% will most likely cancel their international study plans in the Netherlands, while almost 36% are not sure either way as of yet.

Over half of non-EU students uncertain about Netherlands study abroad due to travel restrictions

The most frequently mentioned of these factors contributing to their uncertainty towards their decision include travel restrictions (expressed by 51.28% of respondents), scholarship possibilities (49.89% of respondents), finance difficulties (41.36%) and visa procedures (39.55%).

The study stated that there were clear trends between different respondent students based on their home country, which they believe is likely to be due to differences in the way that their country specifically has been impacted by COVID-19.

For example, Chinese and South Korean prospective students were the individuals who were chiefly worried about access to Dutch healthcare facilities.

Ultimately, the expression of doubt and uncertainty amongst these prospective students was prevalent throughout the survey.

Approximately 20% of respondents wrote additional questions in the open response field, which clearly demonstrates a need for clear and transparent information from Dutch HEIs in response to the current situation.

Pic: Eva Darron

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at

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