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Nuffic report on outbound student mobility in the Netherlands

In June 2022, ACA member Nuffic released a report titled "Dutch students’ plans to go abroad in 2022-2023," based on an original survey conducted in spring 2022. The 540 participants came from Dutch secondary education, vocational education and training (VET), and higher education institutions (HEIs). The main aim of the survey was to identify the factors that determine students' decisions to travel abroad either for a study programme, an internship or a gap year in the next academic year (2022-2023).

Some of the key findings are:

  • Approximately two thirds (68%) of the interviewees have plans to go abroad in the coming academic year;
  • More than half (52%) of students with plans to go abroad, chose a destination within the European Economic Area (EEA), especially Spain, compared to one third (35%) that chose outside of the EEA, most of whom to the USA, and 15% to Asia;
  • On motivations, nine out of ten (92%) students who have or had plans to go abroad are doing so in order to get to know themselves and the world better;
  • The vast majority (84%) do not regard online forms as a substitute for a real-life experience abroad;
  • Accommodation (80%), culture (71%), and safety (61%) are the top three factors that make a country attractive to visit. Language is also a decisive factor for VET students; and
  • 57% of respondents are interested in participating in an international project based in the Netherlands.

In short, Dutch students continue to demonstrate a high level of interest in gaining experience abroad, despite complications due to COVID-19, Brexit or other developments.

The report also outlines a few recommendations for VET colleges and HEIs:

  • Provide as much clarity as possible about the current COVID rules in the destination country;
  • Ensure that what students learn abroad both aligns with the curriculum at home and suits the individual student;
  • Highlight the opportunities to pursue an international experience among students who are unfamiliar with the possibilities or who lack the ability, confidence or motivation to go abroad; and
  • Embed internationalisation at home in the curriculum via blended and online forms of mobility.

Read the full report here.