For students keen to continue their higher education in Europe, Holland or the Netherlands offers attractive opportunities. Along with the fact that degrees and certificates awarded by Dutch institutes are recognised globally, scholarship programmes from the government goes a long way in encouraging international students to flock to the country in pursuit of quality education.

Cost of studying in the Netherlands for international students

Depending on the country of origin, students need to pay a different amount of tuition fees in the Netherlands.

  • Dutch universities that are funded by the Government have two distinct types of tuition fees:
    • The statutory fee that is decided by the Government and needs to be paid by Dutch native students and students from other EU/EEA nations, the amount that was set for 2018-2019 was €2,060.
    • The institutional fees that are decided by the universities and needs to be paid by students from non-EU/EEA countries.
    On average, foreign students spend between €2,000 – 20,000 for their higher education in the Netherlands in 2018-19; depending on bachelor or master’s programme, area of specialisation etc.
  • This includes accommodation, food, transport and health insurance. On average, a foreign student spends about €10,400 annually as per estimates from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service. This amount does not include other expenses like holidays, eating out, going to movies, bars etc.
    • Secondary school certification;
    • Transcript of records;
    • Write-up of about 500-800 words in English on why you would like to study in the Netherlands and what subject interests you;
    • English proficiency scores or Dutch language test scores;
    • Application fee payment proof, which is usually about €50.

Reasons to study in the Netherlands

  • International Recognition:

Dutch degrees are internationally recognised especially in the area of scientific research. Education in the Netherlands is of high quality, thus opening doors to successful careers for students.

  • English as a preferred language:

It is the first non-English nation in the world that has higher education designed especially for English-speaking students. As on date, there are about 2100 English-taught courses and programmes here.

  • Affordability:

Compared to the US and the UK, higher education is much affordable here. Compared with Western countries and other upbeat European nations, the cost of living here is quite low.

  • Innovation:

The Dutch education system is characterised by innovative teaching methods where teamwork is emphasised. Academics focus on group work and strong personal relations with professors. Practical training and knowledge are also given attention.

  • Open-minded culture:

It is easy to mix and interact with the local Dutch community, as more than 95% of natives are able to converse in English. As a culture, Dutch people are open-minded and liberal, thus providing an encouraging environment for growth.

Higher education in the Netherlands

  • Research universities or Universiteiten promote research-oriented education. There are 14 such universities and 8 medical centres in Holland that offer three-year bachelor degrees and two-year master’s degrees, also known as a WO degree.

  • Hogescholen or Universities of Applied Sciences offer four years bachelor’s degrees. The teaching is more practical oriented and this degree is also known as an HBO Degree.

  • International education (IE) institutes mainly offer specialised programmes and are ideal for foreign students. These institutes offer short courses as well as masters and PhD programmes.

  • Private universities offer masters as well as bachelor’s degrees where business schools offer business administration courses.

Scholarships in the Netherlands for international students

  • Government scholarships:

For students from non-EEA countries keen to pursue their higher studies in Holland, the government offers Holland Scholarships for graduate and postgraduate programmes. The amount is about €5,000 that is awarded to students in the first year itself.

  • University-sponsored scholarships:

Check out the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship for Masters Programme; University of Maastricht High Potential Scholarship for master’s programmes; Radboud University Scholarship Programme for English-taught master’s degrees and many more.

  • Erasmus+ scholarship:

This scholarship programme is run by the EU and is scheduled to run until 2020. The aim is to enable students from other countries to study in Holland and vice versa in the field of education, training, youth and sports.

Accommodation in the Netherlands for international students

  • Very few Dutch universities offer on-campus accommodation.

  • Most students in the Netherlands therefore stay off-campus in shared accommodation. Amenities such as shower, toilet and kitchen, are usually shared by students. Rooms are also quite small in the Netherlands and are generally rented out in an unfurnished manner. Due to high demand, it is not very easy getting student accommodation in Holland.

  • Many universities offer support to their students in looking out for a rented place. It is best and safest to go via your university in case they offer such services.

Applying for programmes in the Netherlands

  • Step 1: Select your course as per your interest area and subject choice.

  • Step 2: Now consider and evaluate some top universities in the Netherlands.

  • Step 3: Send in your application to the shortlisted colleges. Some universities might have an eligibility check that is available online. Also, check for the Institutional tuition fee that is applicable to non-EU/EEA students. Check in details about scholarships programmes. Most universities have a deadline for accepting applications, which is usually 1st of May of every year. For some universities however the deadline is 1st February or 1st March.

  • Step 4: Sign in for the Numerus Fixus lottery, run by the Dutch government. Since most courses in the Netherlands are taught in Dutch, joining this programme enhances your chance to apply for English programmes that pertain to only the field of medicine, international business administration, physiotherapy and psychology. Under this platform, the deadline to accept applications is 15th January.

  • Step 5: For English-taught programmes, students need to get their TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge scores. To study in Dutch, you will be required to appear for Dutch TUL intermediate examination.

  • Step 6: Once the university accepts your application, you would need to pay for your health insurance.

  • Step 7: Once you arrive in the Netherlands, you need to get your residence permit to stay on.

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