"We plan to call on talented international students to make their careers in the Netherlands, to spend several years working here and to build lasting ties with the Netherlands. We want to retain international students: this will boost the quality ofeducation and of academic success rates among both Dutch and international students,improve international students’ academic experience, strengthen the image of Dutch higher education worldwide, and improve the labour market in the top sectors (such as science and technology) while also yielding considerable economic benefits. In short:developing stable, long-term relationships with international students will strengthen the Netherlands’ knowledge economy.


Currently, 70% of international students express a willingness to stay on in the Netherlands after they graduate, but only 27% actually do. This represents an opportunity both for the Netherlands and for talented international students. A study programme can mean the start of a new career for more international students than is currently the case. We need to tailor our promotional activities to address this situation, which means not only promoting study programmes, but also the combination of study and a career. This will allow us to generate closer ties between education and industry from the outset. Even if international students leave the Netherlands after they graduate, it is important that they maintain a connection with the country in order to create valuable international networks and potential ambassadors for the Netherlands. An active alumni policy will keep these fires burning.


The basis of this action plan was the advisory report by the Social and Economic Council (SER) titled ‘Make it in the Netherlands’ , and follows on from the SER’s argument for a joint approach. Instead of setting out compulsory agreements, the character of the action plan is more the expression of a common aim, namely to invite international students to begin a career in the Netherlands (cited from MiitN programme booklet)."


ESN the Netherlands is initiator of actionline 3: Breaking the Bubble. Why?

  • buddy systems are the core of ESN activities all over Europe

  • we are in direct contact with the international and the dutch student

  • we know what it is to be on your own abroad

  • we would like to contribute to the exchange experience and giving their the time of their lives

  • we stimulate intercultural awareness