Dutch universities slam ‘ridiculous’ proposal to cap foreign students

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Exclusive: Academics say frontrunner’s plan would scare off top talent and disadvantage Dutch economy

Dutch universities have slammed one of the frontrunners in next week’s general election for suggesting the Netherlands has too many international students taking courses in English, describing his proposals as “ridiculous” and representing a “closing of the Dutch mind”.

Pieter Omtzigt, a popular MP whose New Social Contract (NSC) party is polling strongly in the run-up to the general election on 22 November, told international journalists the country could face a labour shortage within five years as so many students at Dutch universities gained their qualifications in English then went back home. His party proposes capping annual migration to the Netherlands at 50,000, a figure that would include students.

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