SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch international education bureau Nuffic and Dutch universities are in talks with the immigration service and the relevant ministries to solve problems encountered by foreign students in the Netherlands and Dutch students abroad as a result of the corona crisis.
‘Students are worried about delays in their studies and visa requirements. Some want to go home but can’t because of travel restrictions. We are currently in talks with immigration services, the education ministry and the foreign affairs ministry to find solutions,’ a Nuffic spokesman said.
Universities and colleges have stopped all face to face meetings and lectures, and all work is being done online, bringing traditional university life to a standstill. Some 11% of the Dutch student body is from abroad.
Apart from students from within the EU, the Netherlands is particularly popular with Indian and Chinese students.
The 9,000 international students at the University of Amsterdam are also worried and many are wondering if they should go home. ‘We urge them not to take unnecessary risks,’ a university spokesman told the Parool.
The university recalled many of its own students and staff abroad as early as mid-January, although some are still stuck in countries, including New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Jamaica and Congo.
‘The mediation for their return has now been turned over to the foreign affairs ministry,’ the spokesman said.