New intake of Bachelor's students
In the 2021/'22 academic year, 62,953 people entered a university bachelor's degree programme.
This includes only students who have not previously been enrolled in a Dutch Bachelor's programme.
The bachelor's intake in academic year 2021/'22 on 1 October is approximately 2,5000 thousand students (3.8%) less than academic year 2020/'21. At that time there was a higher-than-expected intake in the bachelor's degree programmes, especially of pre-university pupil intake (vwo). The increase in pre-university education intake was caused by the larger number of scolars who had taken their final exams in the 2019/20 academic year and had passed there. In addition, due to the COVID situation, fewer graduates took a gap year, but more students started directly in higher education.
The unexpectedly large increase from last year is partly the cause of the lower intake in the current academic year:
- the group of pre-university students who had taken a gap year after pre-university education was less, so there will (logically) be fewer students from that category in 2021/'22.
- the VWO pass rate in 2020/'21 was not nearly as high as the year before, which means that the number of VWO graduates is also lower;
- pre-university graduates (vwo) in the 2020/21 academic year are more likely to take a gap year. All this means that the intake in the current academic year is less than in the previous academic year and also less than a number of years before.
The number of bachelor's students formaerly educated at a universite of applies sciences who enroll in a bachelor's programme in the current academic year is virtually the same as last year.
The influx of international students has increased again in the 2021/'22 academic year
People who want to study a master's degree, but still have to make up for a number of deficiencies, are usually enrolled as a pre-master or bridging student. These persons are administratively placed with the bachelor's degree programme. The "premaster" phase has now been included for the first time in the national basic register with effect from the 2020/21 academic year. This means that from this academic year onwards, the pre-master's group can be distinguished from regular bachelor's intake.
- In the 2020/21 academic year, 11% (7,487) of the first-year WO bachelor's intake will consist of students who are following a bridging programme.
- In the 2021/'22 academic year, 11% (= 6,945) of the first-year university bachelor's degree is a bridging student
NB: Students of the Open University are not included in the national basic registration. It is also possible to follow a pre-master's program at the Open University. On December 31, 2021, the Open University had 1,856 new first-year pre-master students
Pre-university: Vwo intake
In the 2021/22 academic year, approximately half of the intake into bachelor's programmes consist of students with a pre-university degree of: "vwo-diploma" who enroll in a scientific Bachelor's degree programme immediately after obtaining the degree or: with one or more gap years.
In 2021/'22, 30,802 former pre-university students started a university bachelor's degree. That is 5,000 (-14.3%) less than in the previous academic year. This includes both newly graduated students and students who have previously obtained a degree at pre-university.
NB: former pre-university students who start with a higher professional education program and subsequently progress to university are counted in the statistics as “hbo intake”.
More VWO graduates in academic year 2019/'20
The reason for lower numbers in 2021/'22 is the unexpectedly high numbers in academic year 2020/'21. At that time, a considerably higher number of former pre-university students went on to higher education than had been expected. The reference estimate of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science was based on approximately 35,100 pre-university graduates in the 2019/'20 academic year. Due to adjusted final exam conditions due to COVID-19, a record number of pre-university students graduated in the 2019/'20 academic year: 38,455 students received a pre-university degree in the 2019/'20 academic year; nine percent more than foreseen in the Reference Projection.
Intake form universites of applied sciences (HBO)
The number of students with a higher professional education background transferring to universities is slightly lower in academic year 2021/'22 than in the previous academic year. The number of HBO transfer students who entered a university bachelor's program is slightly less than in the previous year: -1.6%, which comes down to just under 200 people.
The intake of students coming from universites of applied sciences in university bachelor's programs can be divided into two groups:
- students with the intention of following a university bachelor's program and completing it with a university bachelor's degree;
- students who want to follow a master's program but who are not (yet) fully admissible. By means of a so-called pre-master's program (also called: bridging programme), it is possible to eliminate deficiencies and subsequently gain access to the master's programme. A bridging program has a limited scope of maximum 60 EC. In the 2020/21 academic year, more than half of the HBO intake will be a pre-master student.
NB: There are programmes that choose not to offer a pre-master's programme, but to eliminate deficiencies through contract education. The extent of this is unknown: contract students are not recorded in the national register of educational participants (ROD).
Intake of international students
With a total of 18,433 students, the international intake in the bachelor's degree programmes consists largely of students from the European Economic Area (EEA) (77%) and within this group: mainly German students. 6% of the bachelor's intake comes from Europe, but from outside the EEA and 17% of the intake comes from outside Europe.
The range of English-taught Bachelor's degree programmes and the fact that Dutch universities are highly visible in international rankings contribute to the reputation of the Netherlands as a country with excellent higher education institutions.
NB: The United Kingdom will no longer be included in the EEA group in the 2021/'22 academic year.
A small number of international students follow a pre-master's programme in order to eliminate deficiencies that hinder access to the master's programme.