Project Atlas | The Netherlands | Nuffic

About the Netherlands

In addition to being a leading destination country for international students, the Netherlands also sends a sizable number of its tertiary students abroad. The majority of international students come from Europe. German students account for 28% of all international enrollment in the Netherlands. The second leading sending country is China, which sent 4,342 students in 2015/16.

Fast Facts: the Netherlands

  • There were over 78,800 international students in Dutch higher education in 2015/16.
  • The top five places of origin in 2015/16 were Germany, China, Belgium, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
  • NUFFIC is an independent, non-profit organization that supports internationalization in higher education and research in the Netherlands.

Source: Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC)


Inbound/International Student: An individual who has crossed a national border into the Netherlands with the purpose of studying at a higher education institution. The criterion for being an internationally mobile student in the Netherlands is the country where a student completed his or her high school degree (for full-degree/qualification students) or country where he or she is enrolled in a full higher education program (for credit point mobility students who are defined as students crossing a border with the purpose of obtaining credit points for a full-degree program back in the country of origin). Therefore, Dutch nationals who are mobile or “homecoming students” are included in this definition. All EP-Nuffic reporting prior to 2015-16 used a student’s nationality as the criterion for mobility. Data submitted to Project Atlas only reflects full-degree/qualification (bachelor’s and master’s) which reflects the majority of inbound mobility to the Netherlands.

Outbound Student: A student with a Dutch nationality pursuing education in another country. All information on outgoing Dutch full-degree students is supplemented from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

Public HEI: Constitute the majority of HEIs in the Netherlands.

Private HEI: Data submitted to Project Atlas only reflect international students in public HEIs.

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