Row over number of foreign students

24th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — The number of foreign students applying to come to the Netherlands rose by 10 percent last year compared with 2004, according to figures released on Friday.

24 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — The number of foreign students applying to come to the Netherlands rose by 10 percent last year compared with 2004, according to figures released on Friday.

Some 6,500 foreigners applied for a temporary stay visa (MVV) from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for study purposes in 2005, whereas 5,924 applications were lodged the year before.

The Ministry of Justice published the figures in reaction to complaints entry into the Netherlands for foreign students is being hindered.

Student organisation ISO said it had received numerous complaints about the expense and laborious nature of the IND's procedures. ISO said the number of students coming to the Netherlands had dropped by a third as a result.

The IND, which is part of the Ministry of Justice, said the ISO's figures are out of date.

The immigration service acknowledged fewer foreign students sought an MVV between 2002 and 2004. But it put this down to the expansion of the EU. Students from the 10 newer EU states no longer require a visa, cutting 1,500 applications per year.

In addition, 1,200 fewer Chinese come to study because they are faced with more strenuous regulations, the IND said.

The ISO claimed there was also a sharp drop in interest in other countries, but the IND said that was just a trend which could not be attributed to Dutch immigration policy.

The IND said the procedure has got quicker since the introduction of a special desk to deal with MVV applications for students. Students can only use it when the institution they wish to come to has signed up with the IND. So far 74 third-level colleges and universities are part of the system.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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