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Committee debate on internationalisation in higher education – input from universities

14 June 2023

The Dutch House of Representatives will discuss internationalisation in higher education on 15 June. Universities including Leiden University have emphasised the importance of internationalisation but also see obstacles and challenges that need to be overcome. The Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) have provided input for the debate. In a letter to the lower house (in Dutch) they discuss 1) the great importance of internationalisation along with the barriers and challenges that need to be overcome, and 2) the universities’ suggestions on how to achieve this.

To retain all the positive effects of internationalisation and tackle the obstacles identified, the universities have made four proposals:

  1. The sector should control the intake and language of instruction and guarantee the accessibility of education.
  2. A new norm should be introduced: international students will also learn Dutch.
  3. Dutch students should continue to improve their Dutch language skills. 
  4. The sector should work with universities of applied sciences, municipalities and provinces to ensure more internationals stay in the Netherlands after graduation.

Read the letter here (in Dutch).

Hester Bijl on international students

Hester Bijl previously reflected on this topic in her Executive Board column. She had the following to say about the importance of international students and staff: ‘I see them as a crucial part of our academic community. We work together with many other universities and international partners, and an international community is part of this, also within the student population.’

Read the full column here: 'Limiting the intake of international students?'

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