What if I graduated from Amherst College or the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, I was not a European citizen and I would like to pursue a career in the Netherlands? Well, the Dutch government would say I was not educated sufficiently to enter the Netherlands. You might ask yourself why? Isn’t the ENS de Lyon a good school? Actually it is, according to its 72nd place in the 2006 THES rankings.

No, it’s not that ENS Lyon is a lousy university. It’s just that they ended up on rank number 157 of the Times Higher Education Ranking in 2007. And – as I feared before – nowadays in the Netherlands this means that you are not qualified as a skilled migrant. As is stated in the new immigration policy – entered into force this year – only some knowledge workers are eligible to enter the Netherlands:

From abroad, immigrants are only eligible if they graduated from a university in the top 150 of the two recognised university rankings, the league tables published in 2007 by the ‘Times Higher Education Supplement‘ and the ‘Jiao Tong Shanghai University’.

You might argue that ENS Lyon improved its ranking to 140 in 2008. But no…, the Dutch government uses the 2007 league tables. Period!

Or what if I had graduated from some of the world’s best liberal arts colleges? From Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Wellesley?

Not good enough…

And what if I had graduated from the University of Hokkaido (Japan)? The University of Notre Dame (USA)? Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)? Universität Stuttgart (Germany)? University of Calgary (Canada)? Macquarie University (Australia)? Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)? RWTH Aachen (Germany)? University of Surrey (UK)? University of Barcelona (Spain)? Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden)? ….Bergen, Ottawa, Frankfurt, Brussels, Stockholm, Coimbra, Delaware?

No…not good enough…

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