The Effect of the Influx of Chinese Students and Knowledge Workers in the Netherlands


This project studied the suitability of Dutch education for Chinese students and the question of whether and to what extent it is necessary and desirable to make modifications to the education provided to these students.

The  project compiled an inventory of the approaches that are adopted – and why – by Dutch educational insitutions in order to position themseves in the Chinese market, in particular in higher education (research universities and universities of applied sciences) and secondary vocational education.

Attention was focused on such questions as:

  • ‍Have educational institutions adapted their selection, admission and teaching programmes to increase the influx of Chinese students (or possibly to reduce it?) and to  accommodate the specific nature of Chinese students? If so how have they done this?
  • ‍What “best practices” can be distilled from this?
  • ‍What are the experiences of the students themselves with Dutch education?
  • How many students remain in the Netherlands once they have completed their studies?
  • ‍What are the career prospects both in and outside China of Chinese students in the Netherlands?
  • How does the situation in the Netherlands compare with other equivalent countries in Europe (Germany, UK, Belgium) and outside Europe (Australia, Singapore, Canada)?


These and other questions were answered using a combination of interviews and information gathering at educational institutions, a literature study on the situation in other countries and a  survey among Chinese students and graduates.


This research was conducted in collaboration with various partners within the Netherlands, including the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, VSNU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch embassy and consulates in China, NUFFIC, the Chinese embassy in the Netherlands, the China Scholarship Council, Chinese scholars and Chinese study associations in the Netherlands. 



The research was discussed by Frank Pieke in interviews for Financieel Dagblad and BNR Nieuwsradio (in Dutch).


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Published On: June, 2017