From Afghanistan to Switzerland: Erasmus University Rotterdam’s student population continues to become more diverse. The student community is increasingly made up of an increasing number of students from all over the world, something that is important for both Dutch and international students alike. This was one of the findings from the annual census of students held on 1 October.
There are currently more than 115 nationalities represented at Erasmus University. The largest group among these is German students (922), but the number of students from countries such as India, Norway, Spain and Vietnam is quickly rising. For example, while in 2014 there were only 48 students from India (one of the target countries), there are now 349. The number of Vietnamese students has grown from 18 in 2014 to 67 in 2017. Furthermore, for the first time, students from Madagascar, Panama, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia are part of the university’s student community.
This provides for a high degree of diversity in the ‘international classroom’, something that is important for both Dutch and International students. President of the Executive Board Kristel Baele: “We are convinced that education and research benefits from the wide diversity among our researchers, students and staff. It’s all about the distinctive advantages diversity brings: individuals who come with their own opinion, knowledge and experience that strengthens the whole. We want to offer an academic setting where everyone feels at home and can develop themselves to their full potential.”
On 1 October, there were approximately 23,000 Dutch students, and 5,628 international students. That is 10 per cent more than on the same date in the previous academic year. This is not only the result of the popularity of Dutch university education in general, it also stems from the increase in the number of English-taught bachelor and master programmes in Rotterdam. The university’s reputation also appears to play a role in this regard. Another explanation is Rotterdam’s growing international reputation. Just like last year, 1 out of 5 students comes from abroad.
Growth at the Faculty of Philosophy
The 1 October student count also revealed a sharp increase in the number of students at the Faculty of Philosophy. Primarily thanks to the introduction of the Double Degree with Philosophy programme (where students from other programmes can simultaneously study philosophy), student numbers rose from 421 in 2014 to 763 today.
The Executive Board has always stressed the importance of philosophy as a field of academic study for the university. In order to ensure a viable future for this field of study, work is being carried out for the sustainable development of the programme portfolio and for attracting new academic talent.
Housing for international students
According to Executive Board President Kristel Baele, housing for international students is definitely a concern. While it was not difficult in the recent past to find accommodations in Rotterdam, finding appropriate housing in the city now is a difficult process. The cause of this is not just the increasing number of students (including international students), the strained housing market is also certainly a reason. “Now that the demand for affordable housing has outstripped what is available, we work on new policy regarding housing for international students. It is essential that international students feel at home in the city, and this includes good housing and enough opportunity for recreation.”
Through various market parties, Erasmus University was able to realise a significant expansion this past year (+64%) of contingent accommodations. In the coming period, options for further expansion on top of the previous year’s increase will be explored.
In this context, Xior recently realised new student housing located just outside the Woudestein Campus for international students and Housing Anywhere is reserving accommodations for students from abroad. Potential students are also strongly advised to start early in their search for student housing.
More than 10,000 master’s students
Other figures from the 1 October census:
- for the first time, Erasmus University has more than 10,000 masters students (10,238, +2.5 per cent). Over the past few years, extra efforts and resources have been directed towards master’s level education in order to raise its profile internationally. The number of bachelor’s students shows a 9 per cent rise;
- the total number of students increased by almost 7 per cent to 27,178;
- for the first time last year, Erasmus University had more female than male students (50.3 to 49.7 per cent). This year, women comprised 51.2 per cent of all students.
Check the attached fact sheet to view all the data.
About the 1 October census
Each university annually makes a tally of the number of students and enrolments on 1 October. The 1 October census is a snapshot: the figures may change slightly after this date because the registration of students is an ongoing process where corrections to past figures may still be applied.