Dutch unveil EUR 100m expat student plan
18 October 2004
AMSTERDAM — Education State Secretary Mark Rutte has unveiled an ambitious scheme to promote the Netherlands as a land of knowledge in 15 key countries by offering EUR 100 million in scholarships, it was reported Monday.
Rutte will explain the plan in detail to the Dutch Parliament in November, Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) reported. The newspaper has obtained a draft document referring to the scheme that will run from 2005-09.
Rutte writes in the document that attracting foreign talent — in the form of students or so-called “knowledge workers” — would serve several purposes. Besides creating a market for higher professional education (HBO) institutes and universities, it would also benefit the national knowledge economy.
Currently, Dutch educational institutions are not in high demand internationally. Instead, students are opting primarily for Australia or Britain. Rutte told the FD that he wanted to reverse that trend by placing the Netherlands higher in the ranking of favoured student locations.
To combat the lack of “recognisable top education”, Rutte will increase the number of countries that the Netherlands already actively recruits in such as China, Indonesia and Taiwan. “Market countries” such as Brazil, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam will therefore be targeted in future.
Rutte will also promote the Netherlands as an “attractive land of knowledge” in so-called innovation nations such as Canada, Finland, the US, Norway and Switzerland.
The Netherlands’ other selling points, such as the dozens of international schools operating here, will also be used to recruit potential talent to study at Dutch HBO institutes and universities.
To attract the top quality students, Rutte will allocate EUR 100 million over four years to a new Huygens Scholarship Programme (HSP). Other scholarships will also be integrated into the new system.
But to prevent fraud, only students who obtain a job as a knowledge worker — with a minimum income level of EUR 45,000 — will gain the new five-year residence permit and will not have to obtain a work permit. While still students though, they will need to apply every year for a permit to stay in the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news