British presence a gross exaggeration

Mini-column ‘Alison in Wonderland’, published in the Observant, Maastricht

The Times Higher Education magazine has reported that claims of British students ‘flocking’ to the Netherlands are gross exaggerations. In reality, the article points out, the number of Dutch students in the UK is more than double that of British students in the Netherlands. Sure – but the fact that British students are now the fourth largest non-Dutch group in Maastricht makes them a significant minority, whereas the 3000 or so Dutch students in the UK are just a drop in the ocean. The article also warns that ‘Tuition fees in the Netherlands … cover only part of the full cost of the degrees. The cost of teaching will also be covered by a heavy subsidy from the Dutch taxpayer.’ This may be so. But from the perspective of British students (or their parents), it’s hardly a reason to stay at home.

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