Amsterdam: next Euro student capital?

The Class of 2020 conference reports back on its main findings and recommends some important improvements

Following the successful Class of 2020 Conference, which took place in Amsterdam in November 2013, the organisation has released a report summarising the conference’s recommendations for the City of Amsterdam.

According to the Class of 2020, Amsterdam is underperforming as an international university capital, with only 6,6% international students.

Further key findings were: 

  • Amsterdam is far behind leading university cities such as London (26%), Paris (22%), Berlin (16%), Zurich (24%), Vienna (23%) and Barcelona (11%).
  • Amsterdam’s conversion rate from visitor to student is extremely low. As the 5th global destination for youth travellers this gap is inexcusable.
  • If the city were to double the number of international students, it would create a pool of much needed young talent, generate thousands of new jobs, millions in student housing investment and hundreds of potential new start-ups.
  • One major bottleneck must be resolved: overregulation of the housing market prevents investors from building rooms and small studios for students, young entrepreneurs and young professionals.


The Class of 2020 went on to make ten recommendations to the city of Amsterdam: 

1. Commit to an ambitious vision for academic internationalisation;

2. Increase the number of English language programmes offered in the city;

3. Attract new higher education institutions;

4. Focus on IT bachelor education as top specialisation;

5. Develop a chain approach: from visitor to student to expat;

6. Benchmark Amsterdam’s performance as a University Capital;

7. Market Amsterdam as a study destination;

8. Offer international students the prospect of work and entrepreneurship;

9. Make higher education a priority for city government;

10. Deregulate the private residential market for students.

For more information, visit


Photo© Jorge Royan / / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Send an Invite...

Would you like to share this event with your friends and colleagues?