Dutch want only 'brainiest' non-EU academics
6 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Education State Secretary Mark Rutte has unveiled budget cuts that could restrict the entry of many non-European Union academics. The minister says expat students and professors will be welcome in the Netherlands only if they are the very best of their chosen field.
6 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — Education State Secretary Mark Rutte has unveiled budget cuts that could restrict the entry of many non-European Union academics. The minister says expat students and professors will be welcome in the Netherlands only if they are the very best of their chosen field.
At the opening of the academic year at Amsterdam University on Monday, the junior minister said in English that he wanted to attract the "best brains" to the Netherlands.
He said attracting foreign students is essential for the continuation of high-quality Dutch education and the so-called "knowledge economy".
Rutte praised the outstanding reputation of Dutch education internationally, singling out its modern education methods and knowledge of the English language. But he also warned that "results from the past offer no guarantee for the future".
The focus in future will therefore be on quality rather than quantity, raising the prospect of a Charles Darwin-like survival of the fittest scenario.
An Education Ministry spokesman told Expatica that instead of paying individual student subsidies directly to higher education institutes, non-European Union students will instead be placed in a scholarship scheme.
But the funding will be significantly reduced from the present EUR 25 million that is paid annually to education institutes to just EUR 5 million in scholarships in 2005. That will increase to an annual EUR 10 million from 2006.
Funding for expat students from outside the European Union is being reduced because Rutte claims the expected quality is not being obtained. There is simply not enough government money.
Despite this, Rutte said the image that the Netherlands is internationally oriented and tolerant should be a reason for foreign students to study here, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The Liberal VVD state secretary said that brilliant foreign academics — particularly if they remain at a Dutch university after completing their studies — can have a positive impact on Dutch academic life.
He said the Dutch economy needs new impulses and must therefore invest in attracting foreign students. The statement was particularly aimed at graduates of exact sciences, of which a shortage exists in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, the funding paid to higher education institutes for EU students will remain unchanged, the ministry spokesman said. He did not have the annual funding figure immediately at hand.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch News