Nearly one-quarter of all students who completed higher education in the academic year 2015/’16 undertook part of their studies abroad. The students most frequently spending time abroad for their studies were hospitality students. This is indicated by new figures released by CBS on the so-called international credit mobility among higher education institutions (HEIs).
In the academic year 2015/’16, altogether 33 thousand students at universities of
applied sciences (HBO) and research universities (WO) studied in another country for at least three months or obtained at least 15 credits abroad. International credit mobility is relatively common among hospitality students (77 percent) and tourism and leisure students (57 percent). In addition, foreign language students are relatively likely to take up courses or complete an internship abroad (48 percent). Completing a course abroad is often a compulsory part of their programme. This is also indicated by students of the fields of education transport and logistics, hospitality, business studies, HR management and environmental science. Least likely to take up courses abroad are students in financial management and tax law students: 7 percent.
Whether studying at a university of applied sciences (HBO) or a research university (WO), an almost equal share of students either spend at least three months of their education or obtain 15 credits abroad: credit mobility is seen among 22 percent of HBO students and 23 percent of WO students. More WO than HBO students (84 and 60 percent respectively) attend lectures at a foreign university, possibly combining it with an internship. On the other hand, HBO students are more likely to go abroad solely for an internship (40 versus 16 percent).
Main reason is personal development
HBO and WO students with international credit mobility largely share the same motives to complete part of their education abroad. They consider studying abroad to be a valuable experience for their personal development (this was cited as a reason by 97 percent) and for their future career (as stated by 86 percent). In addition, relatively many HBO students indicate that studying abroad is a compulsory part of their curriculum.
Commitments at home often reason not to study abroad
Forty-four percent of students indicate they never considered a stay abroad. The most cited reasons for not going abroad were other commitments in the Netherlands, such as job or care duties (47 percent), as well as the related costs (43 percent). Both reasons were cited more often by HBO than by WO students. Furthermore, relatively many WO students consider the quality of education to be higher in the Netherlands than abroad, or indicate that a temporary stay abroad is difficult to combine with their studies at home.