Methodology & Sources

The Informatie Beheer Groep (IB-Groep), HEI's, Central Financing Educational Institutions (CFI), and National Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) are responsible for collecting international student data in the Netherlands. The Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science sets policies relating to the collection. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) is the primary source of data. Data have been collected on an annual basis from 1998 onward, to date. International students are defined by their country of citizenship.

Specific data are collected on: academic degree and non-degree granting programs; and other types of program (e.g., vocational, distance learning, secondary, etc.). The primary users of this data include government policymakers and higher education institution policymakers. Data are disseminated through various sources, including UOE (UNESCO, OECD, EUROSTAT) tables, published reports and the internet.

Some of the biggest challenges related to data collection include: proper definition of groups to be measured (e.g., credit mobility); proper distinction between mobile foreign students and resident foreign students; proper selection, consequent use, of adequate indicators (e.g., nationality of prior education, of prior residencies, next to, rather than, citizenship); and proper registration at national and international institutions of higher education.

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