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Zijlstra investigates 'taking root' foreign art students

Many students studying at Dutch art schools are not from the Netherlands. At the request of PVV, supported by government parties VVD and CDA, State Secretary for Culture Zijlstra is now investigating whether enough of those students also go to work in the Netherlands after their studies.
Halbe Zijlstra made this commitment during a general consultation on the sector plan for professional arts education, Thursday 1 March in the Lower House. The PVV in particular is afraid that money is now disappearing in with the training of foreigners who return to their homeland with what they have learned. The letter with the outcome of this study must reach the chamber before Easter, because after that the chamber will decide on the new set-up of art education.
Moreover, Zijlstra himself does not see the influx of foreign art students as a problem, he said during the consultations: "Take the US as an example, there the knowledge economy floats on the influx of foreign students." To set a quota, as the CDA suggested, based on the Swedish model, therefore goes too far, the state secretary said: "It's about discovering talent. Imagine having to turn down the Mona Lisa because of a quota."
During the consultations, it further emerged that the chamber is broadly in agreement with the sector plan drawn up by the HBO-raad. The main agreement is that the study programmes are allowed to reduce student intake without affecting the budget, as is the case for other HBO study programmes. Autonomous Visual Arts programmes are allowed to bar the most at the door: they are allowed to accept around 25 per cent fewer students. Conservatoires are allowed to accept 10% fewer students on average. There are no targets for dance and theatre, apart from the voluntary reduction that the Amsterdam Theaterschool, for instance, has already promised.
D66 spokesman Boris van der Ham reiterated that when assessing the performance of courses, there should be no hesitation in putting tough sanctions on poor performance: "we should not rule out the possibility that courses or even entire institutes will have to disappear."
To also make economic, commercial and business subjects compulsory on all art courses, as advocated by the VVD, went too far for the state secretary. He considers that to be the responsibility of the courses themselves.

2 thoughts on “Zijlstra onderzoekt ‘worteling’ buitenlandse kunststudenten”

  1. ah yes, the strategy of double shooting the game, always hit:
    (1) foreigners really *don't* get to stay here to work because they "take jobs", and
    (2) at the same time, foreigners must *well* stay here to work after studying here
    -> so you really always have prize; the politics of the traffic light that is red and green at the same time and always results in a fine....

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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