Foreign students do generate hundreds of thousands of euros for the treasury, the government’s macro-economic think-tank CPB said on Thursday.

Even after the cost of sending Dutch students abroad is deducted from the total, foreign students from outside the EU and generate up to €94,000 each for the government.

This is because their fees are much higher and around 30% of them remain in the Netherlands after graduation, the CPB said. By contrast, EU students bring in between €7,000 and €15,000 each, and no more than 15% stay on after finishing their degree.

‘Foreign students generate more than they cost, and that is something which often gets ignored in the discussion [about the internationalisation of education], researcher Jonneke Bolhar told the Financieele Dagblad.

Education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven is soon due to brief parliament on the situation in the Dutch higher education sector, where there is mounting concern about the use of English in class and Dutch students being squeezed out by more lucrative foreign students.

Last academic year, 11.5% of the student body in the Netherlands came from abroad. Most of them were from the EU.