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Response to Minister Dijkgraaf’s Letter to Parliament on internationalization

Published: 25th April 2023 Last updated: 22nd March 2024

On Friday, April 21, Minister Dijkgraaf of Education, Culture and Science sent his much-anticipated letter on managing the inflow of international students in higher education to Dutch Parliament. The Minister wants to take several practical measures to manage and steer the numbers of international students who come to study in the Netherlands. In addition, the Minister and the universities will discuss agreements on, for instance, the stay rate, promoting Dutch language skills, and information provision to international students, e.g., on housing. The Minister has also announced legislation on education in a foreign language.

Dijkgraaf emphasizes the importance of internationalization and, using a targeted, long-term approach, he wants to maintain the quality of education in the Dutch universities of applied sciences and research universities and their leading international position. The proposed measures are aimed to strengthen the benefits of internationalization and reduce its drawbacks. More information on the contents of the letter can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

The Executive Board has taken note of this letter and will work with the Deans to give due consideration to the ramifications of the announced measures for our university. Wim van de Donk, Rector Magnificus and President of the Executive Board of Tilburg University: “The Executive Board understands that the Letter to Parliament and the reporting on this subject may raise questions among (international) staff and students. We cannot answer all these questions at this time. We feel it is a positive thing that the Minister indicates that he wants to enter into a dialogue with the universities and elaborate further details together. Tilburg University remains dedicated to our (international) students and staff and our ambitions as regards the international classroom. We are committed to our entire academic community.”

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to internationalizationsdiscussie@tilburguniversity.edu. Further information will follow when more becomes clear about the implications for Tilburg University.


On June 15, there will be a debate in Dutch Parliament on internationalization in higher education. The universities, that have provided input for this debate, emphasize the great importance of internationalization, but also perceive problems that need to be addressed. Read more about the input for the Committee Debate on Internationalization in Higher Education (in Dutch).