More university applications despite one more year of loan system

Dutch universities saw a 4 percent increase in applications for the coming academic year. Universities of applied sciences reported a 1 percent decrease in applications, NOS reports based on figures from Universities of the Netherlands and the Association of Universities of Applied sciences. The reintroduction of the basic study grant in the 2023-2024 academic year, therefore, does not seem that have affected the number of applicants. 

The increase in university applications is similar to a year before when applications were 5 percent higher than the previous year. For universities of applied sciences, the decrease is leveling off. For the previous academic year, applications fell by 7 percent. 

There were some concerns that students would opt for a gap year to avoid having to borrow money for a year before the basic study grant is reintroduced. When the basic grant was abolished in favor of the loan system in 2015, it also had little effect on the application numbers.

Prospective students have until October 1 to convert their application into a registration. The universities and universities of applied sciences will announce their final registration figures in the fall. 

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