Record number of students registered at Dutch universities

A record 328 thousand students are registered at Dutch universities for this academic year, 8 percent more than in the 2019-2020 academic year, according to provisional registration figures from the association of Dutch universities VSNU. The association attributes the increase to the consequences of the coroanvirus crisis, NOS reports.

The coronavirus crisis resulted in central final exams not happening this year, and high school graduates passing or failing based on their school performance and school exams. This resulted in a higher pass rate than usual, according to the VSNU.

The association also thinks that fewer high school graduates opted for a gap year, as the coronavirus pandemic severely restricted their travel possibilities.

Universities were also more lenient with binding study advice due to the crisis. Usually 7 percent of students drop out in their first year. In the 2019-2020 academic year, only 5.4 percent dropped out. “The coming year should reveal the consequences of postponing the binding study advice,” VSNU chairman Pieter Duisenberg said to NOS. “It is quite possible that dropout rates will increase next year because students get stuck in their studies.”

And fewer students were able to get their diploma or degree this year, because certain subjects could not continue at distance learning. Those students had to register again for 2020-2021 to finish their studies.

According to the VSNU, the coroanvirus crisis did not affect the number of foreign students from the European Union registering at Dutch universities. The number of foreign students from outside the EU did drop.