UM and the political debate on internationalisation

Internationalisation of education, and specifically the influx of international students, is a hot topic in Dutch politics. This will still be the case in 2024. As the most international university in the country, Maastricht University closely monitors the developments. The guiding principle for UM remains: an international university in a highly international and ageing border region is both natural and essential.

For the Netherlands as a whole, the number of international students has significantly increased in recent years. Universities themselves also aim for a good balance in the intake of both Dutch and international students, which can prevent issues such as housing problems due to rapid growth. Customisation is the guiding principle: each university has its own profile and operates in a region with its unique challenges.

This applies to Maastricht University as well: an international university with a unique profile, deeply rooted in an international region. The diversity of our community – both students and staff - is of great value to ourselves and our surroundings. As an international university, we continue to play our role as a driver for socio-economic development in the region.

What will exactly change in government regulations for the influx of international students and the distribution of English-Dutch as the language of instruction in the coming years is uncertain. We will keep our UM community and prospective students informed. Below, you will find the most current news and updates on this matter.

News

  • Dutch universities have jointly announced measures to manage the intake of international students and enhance Dutch language proficiency.  Maastricht University is committed to finding tailored solutions that align with both the university and its environment. 

  • The Netherlands does not yet have a new government. For universities, a lot of uncertainty remains, though it is clear that some things are set to change. Politicians want nationwide rules to limit the number of international students. 

  • Headlines about the rising numbers of international students, a proposed law to better manage that influx, presented by a minister whose cabinet has been ousted ... What does all this mean? What will happen next—and when?

More news items
  • The number of young adults in South Limburg continues to decline. The resulting labour shortages could lead to companies abandoning the region. UM’s international student population can offer a lifeline.

  • Last Friday, despite the fall of the cabinet, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science published its Internationalisation in Balance bill. Stakeholders can respond to the bill digitally in an online consultation process lasting until mid-September.

  • On 15 June, the House of Representatives had the opportunity in the committee debate to respond to earlier proposals by the minister of OCW, around controlling the intake of international students.

  • Recently, UM’s president Rianne Letschert wrote an opinion piece for TH&MA. The journal informs managers, directors and executives at universities and colleges of higher education in both Flanders and the Netherlands about the latest trends in higher education. You can read the opinion piece here....

  • The number of foreign students arriving at Dutch universities will not be restricted, at least for the time being. This is a good thing, according to ongoing research by Carla Haelermans from the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and Patrick Bijsmans from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences...

  • Limiting the number of international students in the Netherlands is a hot topic among Dutch politicians. Maastricht University (UM) has taken a critical stance in this discussion. The university was founded in the 1970s to promote prosperity in the Limburg region—prosperity that has long been...

  • The Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf, intends to take a number of concrete steps to improve the management of international students coming to the Netherlands.

  • In the near future, minister Dijkgraaf will submit proposals to the Lower House to limit the intake of international students in Dutch education. Employers in Limburg are very concerned about the impact on border regions like ours. We as the joint Brightlands campuses, together with representatives...

  • International students are a continuous subject of discussion as minister Dijkgraaf is about to announce his plans regarding the official language to be used in study programmes (Dutch or English) and the influx of foreign students. What do they themselves think about these issues? At the invitation...

  • Politicians in The Hague are burdening Maastricht University with a huge problem if Dutch is to be given a (too) dominant position in (most) bachelor’s programmes. This would jeopardise the role of the university – founded at the time to provide the province with a new impulse and a new future after...

  • Read more on the emergency debate on increase in international students. For now the suspension of active recruitment remains in force.

  • Internationalisation of education, and specifically the intake of international students, is a hot topic in Dutch politics. This will also be the case in early 2023. As the most international university in the country, UM follows developments closely and, in the interest of the university and the...

  • The new UM president, and former rector magnificus, Rianne Letschert leaves no room for doubt. She is delighted with the choice to profile the university as the European university of the Netherlands. Maastricht University forms an international and predominantly European community in a region...