Science - February 24, 2016

International PhD students supply money

Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

International PhD students are favourable for the Dutch economy. Through taxes they repay more than the state pays for their PhD.

Photo: Mystic Mabel

About forty percent of the PhD students in the Netherlands comes from abroad. Their PhD track is relatively expensive, because they are generally payed as employees and not as a students.

And still the international PhD students are not an important cost factor, the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis calculated. Through taxes they amply pay the Netherlands back for their academic education.

It is possible that they receive jobs that Dutch PhD graduates also want to have, but those Dutch graduates receive jobs somewhere else. The presence of the foreigners does not cause extra unemployment.

After ten years about a third of the international PhD graduates are still working in the Netherlands. This also means that they pay taxes here. And because internationals more often work in the private sector, where the salary is higher, on average they also pay more taxes than Dutch PhD graduates.

According to the CPB the positive effects of the international PhD students is greater than we can express in money. They bring new ideas and worldwide “knowledge networks” are formed. But such effects are difficult to measure for the CPB.

In 2012 the CPB had a similar reasoning for international students. Also they supply the treasure with millions a year.