The international education organization Nuffic examined data on external mobility and found that Dutch students were spread across 98 countries, with three quarters of students choosing destinations in the European Economic Area.
The total number of Dutch students studying full study programs abroad has doubled in 10 years, reaching 20,000 in 2019.
“Although the Netherlands lags behind the European level when it comes to degree mobility, the opposite is surprisingly true when it comes to credit mobility,” Nuffic researchers wrote in a new report.
There are no exact figures on short-term exchanges, but by analyzing Erasmus+ data, Nuffic found that more than 14,000 Dutch students went abroad for internships or semester exchanges in 2018/19.
The most popular destinations for these exchanges were Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. The pandemic has seen the number of students participating in short-term exchanges fall from 25% in 2018/19 to 14% in 2020/21.
“Study or internship abroad is of great value for Dutch students”
“Study or internship abroad is of great value to Dutch students. They develop skills for the internationally oriented labor market, where they will go after their studies,” said Nuffic researcher Anneloes Slapdel-Henschen.
“In addition, internationally competent students are better equipped for multicultural societies and the cross-border cooperation that is necessary to solve global challenges.”
Belgium is the most popular country for long-term study among Dutch students due to “the language, low tuition fees, availability of rooms and the accessibility of programs such as (veterinary) medicine, dentistry and psychology”, according to Nuffic. researcher Saoradh Favier.
The UK and US are the next best destinations, but Britain has become less popular after Brexit, with a 19% drop in students.
“No other destination country in the top 10 shows a comparable decline,” the researchers wrote.