Universities of applied sciences (UAS)

  • With 16,247 international degree students enrolled, Economics is the largest UAS field of study in absolute terms, followed by Engineering (8,332), and Language & Culture (7,306). While all UAS fields of study saw international student numbers increase relative to 2022-23, Engineering showed the fastest year-on-year growth for the second consecutive year (+13.4%).
  • In relative terms, Language and Culture is the most international UAS field of study in 2023-24, with more than 1 in 3 students coming from abroad (37%). Education (2.6%) and Behavioural & Social sciences (2.9%) are the least international UAS fields of study.
  • The most popular UAS study programme among international students is International Business (6,166), followed by Music (2,490).

Research universities (RU)

  • Economics emerged in 2023-24 as the top choice for international students at research universities for the first time since 2017-18. While the majority of RU fields of study saw growth in the absolute number of international students enrolled, there was a decrease in international students studying Healthcare relative to 2022-23.
  • Interdisciplinary programmes again have the highest proportion of international students in 2023-24, at 52.5%. Economics is also a highly international field in relative terms, with more than 1 in 3 students coming from abroad (35.2%).
  • Psychology attracts the most international students at research universities (8,419), followed by Economics & Business Economics (4,852).

For more data on university degree students coming from abroad to study in the Netherlands in 2023-24 and an analysis of current trends and developments, see our report Incoming degree mobility in Dutch higher education 2023-24.

For an overview of English-taught study programmes offered by Dutch institutions visit

For further information, please send an email to