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Academic Careers in the Netherlands

25 April 2013
Facts and Figures
Academic careers
In this publication we provide actual information on the careers of academics at Dutch universities. A lack of such information has given rise to many preconceptions about academic careers.




The Dutch university sector is not considered a dynamic environment as senior positions at universities are often ‘tenured’, and thus there is little opportunity for young scientists to have a career in science. There is also a preconception that it is a closed career path, once you’re outside of academia, you can forget about an academic career.

With a new analysis of the information available, this Facts & Figures provides further insights into the mobility and dynamics of the Dutch academic job market.
The most significant conclusions in this publication are:

  • The Dutch academic job market is an open system. Large numbers of PhD students (PhDs), other academic staff (OAS), assistant professors, associate professors and professors (PROF) are leaving universities, but conversely many scientists are also finding their way into Dutch universities.
  • The Dutch academic system is becoming increasingly international. More and more academics come from abroad and more and more academics that worked at Dutch universities, now work abroad. The proportion of foreign academics in the Netherlands is growing.
  • In the Dutch academic system, women are promoted proportionately to senior positions: no better, but no worse, than men. Numerically, there are still large differences between the number of men and the number of women in high positions. If the current trend continues, in 30 to 40 years, the male-female ratios will be one-to-one.

Preferred citation: 
De Goede, M., Belder, R. and De Jonge, J. (2013). Academic Careers in the Netherlands 2013. Facts & Figures 7. The Hague: Rathenau Instituut