The Dutch border touches Belgium and Germany to the South and East respectively as well as the North Sea. This founding member of the European Union is probably best known for its vast system of cycle lanes running through the entire country – as well as its tulip fields and windmills!
The Dutch higher education system is structured in a binary system. You can choose between two types of education: research-oriented education focusing research, offered by universities - and higher professional education focussing professional practice, offered by universities of applied sciences. In addition, there is a third branch, called institutes for international education, designed mainly for international students.
Due to the reforms of Bologna, the Dutch higher education system is based on the bachelor’s-master’s degree structure. At both, research universities and universities of applied sciences, you can award a bachelor's or a master's degree.
In the following, you will see how Dutch higher education institutions are performing on the institutional level. Based on the U-Multirank dimensions the graphic depicts the national average and represents how many of the Dutch institutions are doing better than the average (receiving an ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good) score), or below the average (receiving a ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak) score).
Teaching & learning, international orientation and regional engagement are particular strengths of the Dutch higher education institutions participating in U-Multirank
Tuition fees in the Netherlands are determined by the national law. All students studying full-time pay study fees of € 2,060 per (study) year. The fees for part-time or dual studies vary between 1,030 € and 2,060 € per year depending on the university.
All EU/EEA-citizens, Swiss and Surinam citizens are entitled to take a tuition fee loan from the Dutch Government of up to the statutory fee. This is 2,087 € for 2019/2020.
A comparison specifically aimed at UK students interested in studying in the Netherlands is available here. For Non-EU students, the average tuition fee for an undergraduate degree is between 6,000 € and 15,000 €, for a graduate degree between 8,000 € and 20,000 €.
Reference year(s): 2020/2021
In this section we highlight the fees for studying in the Netherlands. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.
Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.
In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in the Netherlands. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances. How these terms are defined, are outlined below:
No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in the Netherlands. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.
In general, anyone who successfully passed their domestic university entrance exam is entitled to study at a Dutch university. There are, however, exceptions for some courses/subjects, and a ‘Numerus Fixus’ applies. Universities publish these on their own websites. As yet, the Numerus Fixus does not apply to most courses/subject taught in English.
In general, you will need to meet the following conditions: You need to have a valid passport and you need to provide a signed antecedent’s certificate. All students from non-exempt nationalities must pass a tuberculosis test. Moreover, you must have (provisionally) been accepted at a university or university of applied sciences as a student to a full-time accredited day programme. This university or university of applied sciences is a recognised sponsor. Recognised educational institutions are listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors. As an important point, you have to give evidence of sufficient funds for the period of study. While studying, you need to achieve at minimum 50% of the compulsory credits for each academic year.
Here you can find the current Dutch country report.