Two categories are distinguished: people with a western and people with a non-western, foreign background.
People with a western, foreign background living in the Netherlands have at least one parent born in Europe (excluding Turkey), North America, Oceania, Indonesia or Japan.
People with a non-western, foreign background living in the Netherlands have at least one parent born in Africa, Latin America, Asia (excluding Indonesia and Japan) or Turkey.
Persons of whom the background is unknown are not taken into account. In the period under review this group constitutes 2 to 5 percent of the total number of students in higher education and 3 to 7 percent of higher education graduates.