Just before the December holiday period, Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences received a request from the Minister of Education, Culture and Science to temporarily stop recruitment of students abroad. UT acts by this request: no recruitment activities specifically aimed at international students will take place in the coming period. Think of UT's participation in fairs abroad.
This temporary stop of recruitment activities is designed to curb student intake in Dutch higher education. In several places in the Netherlands, student numbers have grown in recent years to such an extent that there are problems with, for example, work pressure or the availability of student accommodation. The Dutch central government is working with universities and universities of applied sciences on possible solutions. They are asking universities to freeze their international recruitment activities until an agreement is reached on these solutions. Possible solutions are expected to become clearer sometime in the coming months.
We want to emphasise, that in the coming period, international students are of course welcome to come and study at UT, or another Dutch higher education institution. Activities aimed at informing students about studying in the Netherlands and at UT may be continued to properly facilitate students who already intend to study in the Netherlands. These activities are essential for creating suitable matches and, when choosing UT, an excellent start to studying at UT. There are no changes in the admission requirements or process for UT's bachelor's and master's programmes.
It should be stressed that, as the University of Twente, we are keen to continue welcoming international students. International staff and students are an essential and highly valued part of our community. The problems at some other universities in terms of student housing, for example, do not apply to our university. The arrival of international students enriches our academic community, and strengthening cultural diversity is valuable for both education and research.
Together with several regional partners - businesses, governmental organisations and other educational institutes - we have called on the Minister to continue to support international influx, as this is vital for our labour market: Especially in IT and engineering, there is a great need for talent. We feel a responsibility towards the business community to deliver enough talent. Nuffic figures show that many international students remain in the Netherlands to work after completing their studies; the stay rate of international students in this domain is high at 40 per cent. Thus, they are an important source of talent for business and scientific institutions.
In the coming months, Dutch politics will continue to discuss this matter. We are closely monitoring developments and will let you know about possible outcomes for the university.