Impact of Globalization on Small Countries' Higher Education Systems: The Case of the Netherlands

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-9-46-56

A. Nevskaya, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23 Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The article deals with the current performance and the latest developments of higher education in small and medium Western European countries. It uncovers the core trends on the international higher education market, defines small countries’ place and role in it. It is argued that there is no direct correlation between the size of economy, country’s geography, language spoken, on the one hand, and the share of international enrolments and higher education system’s general performance, on the other hand. However, there are some special moments about the way small developed countries build in their higher education in the global market. The article deals with the Dutch higher education system as a typical case for Western European small countries. It is concluded that the most beneficial category of students for this country are those from non-EEA countries, focusing in several specific areas of the country’s international specialization. A system of measures is being taken to attract such students and to prevent huge number of enrolments from the rest of developing world. This is the way the Netherlands preserve and improve the excellent quality of domestic educational services (which is right for the rest of small Western European countries as well). The group of countries under consideration is also known for their high level of involvement in all kinds of international cooperation in tertiary education. This allows them, on one hand, to further improve the quality of services, and, on the other hand, to minimize the costs of stuff needed for research and innovation. This paper’s findings might be used for further research in this area and taken into consideration by the local authorities dealing with Russian educational system improvement and including it in the global market of education, research and innovation.

Keywords: higher education, student mobility, international enrolments, brain drain, transnational education, research collaborations, small and medium countries, Netherlands

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For citation:
Nevskaya A. Impact of Globalization on Small Countries' Higher Education Systems: The Case of the Netherlands . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 9, pp. 46-56.

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