Study in Netherlands
Holland stands out for its great inventiveness, its problem-solving attitude and its openness to the world. Studying in Holland offers you the space to be a pioneer, be creative and get connected.
The more than 2,100 English-taught study programmes and courses cover a broad range of fields. All programmes and courses lead to a bachelors, masters or PhD degree, a diploma or certificate.
Why Study in Netherlands?
Quality of higher education
Higher education in Holland has a worldwide reputation for its high quality. This quality is guaranteed through a national system of regulation and quality assurance. Dutch law (the Higher Education and Research Act) states that degree programmes offered by higher education institutions must be evaluated against a specific set of criteria, assessing the content and the level of the course. Bachelor’s and master’s programmes that meet the criteria are accredited (i.e. officially recognized).
In 2015, there were twelve Dutch universities in the top 200 of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, making the Netherlands the fourth best represented country on the prestigious list.
Holland has proven to be a true pioneer for discovering inventive solutions to everyday problems. The way the Dutch created a large part of the country by reclaiming land from the sea shows their pragmatic approach to living below sea level.
We can also see this approach when it comes to education. For a small country like Holland, an international orientation - extending into education and training - is a must to be a successful competitor in our increasingly internationalized world. Holland was also the first non-English speaking country to offer courses taught in English.
The important role of the Dutch in the international design industry is a reflection of their creative drive. The creative sector in Holland is world famous for its innovative ideas and ground-breaking Dutch Design. It is perhaps because of the Dutch way of teaching that creativity has acclaimed such an important role in Dutch society. Students are challenged to solve problems with an out-of-the-box approach and work together in case studies to gather and share knowledge.
Being a small country, Holland is open to the world and to surrounding countries. Cooperating with other countries is key to being successful for the Dutch. The strong connection between Dutch higher education institutions and the business world creates possibilities for practical assignments and internships to prepare students for a career in an international environment.
The Dutch education system is interactive, student-centred and focused on teamwork, which makes it easy to meet other international students. The teaching method at Dutch higher education institutions is founded on respect for each individuals opinions and convictions. This respect is a national virtue that characterizes Holland's diverse and plural society. The method aims to provide students with both the attention and freedom they need to develop their own opinions and creativity in applying new knowledge.
Step by step: How to apply to a Dutch institution.
The Dutch have a saying : "A good preparation is half the work". Meaning that once you have prepared yourself for what is about to come, the rest will follow easily.
When you have made the decision to go study in Holland, you will need to prepare for your stay. You will have to decide what to study and where, you will have to apply to an institution, finance your studies, look for a place to live and so on. The step-by-step checklist will help you determine what to do when and where.
Read the full checklist here.
- Step 1: Find a study programme
Holland offers more than 2,100 study programmes and courses taught in English. Examine the available study programmes on this website or on www.studyfinder.nl.
Step 2: Check accreditation and institution
Check whether the programme of your choice is accredited by the NVAO (Accreditation Organization of The Netherlands and Flanders) or by another organisation. Accreditation is an important indication of the programmes quality. Check if the institution of your choice has signed the Code of Conduct. By signing the Code of Conduct, the institution offers students a guarantee of the quality of their programmes, student recruitment, selection and counselling procedures. Visit www.internationalstudy.nl to find a list of institutions that have signed the Code of Conduct.
If you cannot rely on your own funds for studying, you can look for scholarships and find out if you are eligible. On the Scholarshipportal or www.grantfinder.nl you can find an overview of scholarships available for students who wish to come to Holland. You can also contact the Dutch Embassy in your home country or your institution's international relations office.
- Step 4: Meet the requirements and apply for the course
Find out what the admission requirements are for the programme of your choice. Contact the Dutch institution offering the programme to ask for more information about admission requirements, language requirements and so on. Generally, the main requirement for admission to a bachelors programme is a secondary-school diploma at the appropriate level. For admission to a masters degree programme, applicants must have at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent. IELTS and TOEFL are commonly accepted language tests. The required scores are at least 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer based) for TOEFL. For IELTS a score of at least 6 is required.
If the programme is suitable and you meet the requirements, follow the institutions procedure for admission. Follow the directions of the institution on how to apply. Often this information is listed on the course website of the institution.
- Step 5: Follow the immigration regulations
Check which immigration regulations apply to you. It may take up to six months from collecting the required documents to receiving your actual visa (if needed). You can find out which rules apply to you in the Student Visa Wizard. Gather all the relevant documents required by the Dutch immigration authorities. If you need an entry visa (MVV), your host institution must arrange it on your behalf. Find out which documents you need in the Student Visa Wizard.
- Step 6: Find a place to live
Once you arrive in Holland, you will need a place to live. Finding housing can be difficult, make sure you start looking as soon as possible. Don't forget to ask your host institution for help in arranging a place for you to live. Your institution should be able to provide you with more information about housing.
- Step 7: Make sure you are insured
All students in Holland are obliged to have health insurance. There are several options for you to arrange this. Check the information and regulations about health insurances to find out how you can arrange your insurance.
And finally: Enjoy your time in Holland as a student!
You can find more information on: www.studyinholland.nl
The education system
The education system in Holland is known for its high quality in education and research and its international study environment. In addition, with more than 2,100 international study programmes and courses it has the largest offer of continental Europe.
Holland has two main types of higher education institutions: research universities and universities of applied sciences.
The research universities in Holland educate students in academic study and research. Universities of applied sciences offer professional programmes in the applied arts and sciences that prepare students for specific careers. A third and smaller branch of higher education is provided by institutes for international education, which offer advanced training and courses in a wide range of fields. Most of these institutes are part of a research university.
Read more about the education system in Holland.
Preparation courses in Holland
Some international students may not be able to attend a degree in Holland because their previous studies do not match the academic system of the country. To be allowed to take an undergraduate or graduate degree in Holland, they will need to enrol in a one-year pre-Bachelor or pre-Master offered by a local university.
Popular foundation degree studies in Holland include pre-law degrees, pre-MBA courses, pre-medicine, pre-nursing studies, or other types of international foundation programmes in engineering, economics, finance, social science, science and other types of university pathway programmes. Preparation courses in Holland include academic English language training to help international students meet university language requirements for future undergraduate or graduate studies.
Foundation degrees in early years in Holland are perfect for increasing your chances of getting accepted to a Dutch university. Pre-university business schools, law schools or med schools make sure international students develop the skills they need to succeed in the Dutch academic system. Pre-university education also includes cultural integration classes that help students feel more at home. Some pre-university programmes guarantee enrolment to the institution if students complete the preparation with high grades.
Meet language requirements for university admission in Netherlands by choosing an English language preparation course offered by English language schools worldwide, including Netherlands.
Where can I study a foundation course in Holland?
The top Dutch cities where students can take a foundation year programme include: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Maastricht and more.
Read more about the enrolment requirements for international students.