Foreign students could be contributing as much as 740 million euros each year to government revenue in the Netherlands. This says the Central Planning Bureau (CBP) in response to state secretary Zijlstra who wants to know about the costs and benefits of having foreign students.
It is not entirely clear how many students remain here after getting their degree. But even if this group constitutes a small portion, say 2.5 percent of all foreign graduates, their presence still has a positive effect. If nineteen percent of them stay on for a couple of years, they could add 740 million euros to government revenue. In addition, these students get to know the Netherlands, and the Dutch get to develop intercultural skills from contacts with foreign students. This is good for business with the rest of the world, argues the CPB.
No more German programmes
To benefit more from having foreign students, demissionary state secretary Zijlstra wants to give more attention to the quality of international students, he writes in a cover letter to the Lower House. He also wants to increase the chances of retaining the students after graduation, while Dutch students should learn more about doing business with Germany. A stop will be put to educational programmes conducted entirely in German for German students. These should be cut down or changed, he writes to the Lower House.
In any case, the presence of foreign students does not in itself lead to improvements in education. The institutes have to take steps to give students and lecturers a good command of English and perhaps train them also in intercultural skills, adds the CPB.