The number of international students at Maastricht University continues to increase faster than the number of Dutch students. For this academic year, 9500 foreign students are enrolled, compared to 8500 Dutch students. This means that Maastricht remains by far the most international university in the Netherlands. This is apparent from preliminary figures from the university.

The university sees the number of German students decrease somewhat, according to the spokesperson this has to do with the investments in German education.

The growth in the number of students in Maastricht lags slightly behind the national trend: 4% against 5%. The total number of students registered in the Netherlands for a bachelor’s or master’s programme at a university is now almost 290,000, according to preliminary figures from the Association of Universities (VSNU). Chairman Pieter Duisenberg indicates that the increase in the number of students at universities is good for the Dutch economy, but at the same time he also expresses his concerns: “The signals about work pressure in education, including at universities, must be taken very seriously. The government has a responsibility to ensure that academic education in the Netherlands remains at the highest level. This can only be done by making substantial investments.”

Maastricht University shares these concerns, but for the time being, does not foresee any problems when it comes to the quality of its own education. “There are no programmes with real peaks in student numbers, so we are able to anticipate well. We don’t get into trouble and can maintain high-quality education. But we do constantly keep an eye on the situation”, said a university spokeswoman. With students, the university and other institutions such as the VSNU, education is constantly monitored. “This ensures that we can act adequately as soon as we receive signals that something is wrong.”

This week, Minister of Education Van Engelshoven announced stricter rules on the introduction of a numerus fixus for training courses. These measures do not affect the university. “This would only be a sensible measure if a specific training suddenly became very popular, that is not the case here”, says Dols. The medical training – where a numerus fixus has existed for decades – is excluded from this measure.