International alumni from Dutch universities generate millions of euros for the Netherlands

9 Jan 2017 | Genoveva Geppaart

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EP Nuffic researched the stay rate of international students who graduated in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2014. 


In this research, international students were divided into the following groups:

  • Leavers
  • Stayers who continued with further higher education
  • Stayers who found a paid job in the Netherlands
  • Others stayers, i.e. those who stayed in the Netherlands for other reasons such as parenthood, freelancing, etc.


Stay rate

The research shows that there is a strong correlation between finding a paid job (as employee) and the likelihood of staying in the Netherlands. Students from outside the EER stayed more often than students from within the EER. Those who studied at a university of applied science  (HBO) stayed more often than those who studied at a research university. Students who graduated in healthcare and science/technology stayed more often than others. The average stay rate was 25%.


Economic effects

The estimated economic effect of international students is about €1,57 billion. If the stay rate rises 1%, the economic effect will rise €60 million. These relatively high benefits make it interesting for the Netherlands to develop a policy for international students as a special category of knowledge migrant.


We need to take into consideration that international students who leave the Netherlands are a group of great ambassadors for Dutch education and Dutch society. Further research of this economic value is desirable.


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