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Response to the letter to the House of Representatives regarding internationalization

25 April 2023

The Board of the University of Groningen has taken note of the Letter to the House of Representatives regarding internationalization (in Dutch) in higher education, sent to the House on Friday 21 April by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robbert Dijkgraaf. In his letter, the Minister voices a need to take more control of the influx of international students. In addition to plans for a legal process, he also wants to make agreements with institutes of higher education in the Netherlands.

The Board of the University of Groningen is proud of its diverse academic community, in which international students, staff, and PhD candidates play a huge part. Internationalization and international collaboration are high on our list of priorities. We are committed to our current approach, which benefits the quality of our teaching and research and helps us to create opportunities for our staff, students, and alumni.

However, having acknowledged the opportunities and positive impact of internationalization, we are not blind to the challenges facing our university, the region, and our country, including the challenges of work pressure, housing, the status of the Dutch language, access to education, and the labour market. We are therefore in favour of controlling the influx of international students. We agree with the Minister that taking control should be part of a broader internationalization strategy, whereby our teaching and research ambitions should go hand-in-hand with the specific needs and vulnerabilities of industry, government, and institutes of education in the Northern Netherlands and the rest of the country. The letter to the House of Representatives provides enough openings to tackle the challenges we face, and to realize opportunities. We are therefore keen to meet the Minister to discuss further agreements.

We understand that our academic community, including our international colleagues and students, may be wondering how the measures that have been announced will affect our university in general, and staff and students in particular. It is too soon to draw firm conclusions, as this largely depends on the legal process and the details of any agreements we make with the Minister.

Last modified:14 November 2023 11.04 a.m.
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