Dutch University Key Facts and Unique Aspects
Dutch universities offer some excellent value for international students.
- There are 14 research universities and 36 universities of applied sciences in the country. Between them, they now offer around 390 Bachelor’s degrees in English.
- Bachelor of science or arts take 3 years, bachelor of applied sciences takes 4 years.
- The Dutch have embraced a residential university experience with a liberal education approach called University Colleges:
|Amsterdam University College||300||20||3 years||€ 4,610/ € 12,610|
|Erasmus University College||218||15||1 year||€4,800/ €13,500|
|University College Fryslân||200||25||1 year|
|Leiden University College||204||18||2 years||€4 ,756/ € 14,647|
|University College Groningen||150||17||1 year||€ 4,380 / € 13,093|
|University College Maastricht||275||12||no||€ 3,655/ € 14,217|
|University College Roosevelt||200||20||3 years||€ 3,750 / € 9,450|
|University College Tilburg||200||25||Optional||€ 2,209 / € 9,000|
|University College Twente||50||16||1 year||€4,418/ €13,084|
|University College Utrecht||250||20||2 years||€ 4,584 / €14,000|
- In government-sponsored programmes there were:
- 43,500 students from EU countries and EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland);
- 20,350 students from countries other than EU and EFTA.
- School year starts in September, but several universities offer mid year entry in February
- Many options for pursuing Liberal Arts. In the last 20 years, Ten universities set up comprehensive Liberal Arts colleges or individual tracks.
- Most of the courses taught in English are open enrolment: If you are qualified, you will gain admission. Some especially popular programs such as medicine, psychology, international business administration, economics and physiotherapy, are Numerus Fixus and will result in a more competitive entry and evaluation.
- New this year: All students will go through a matching process–non binding. See below for details.
- International students can stay to work up to three years after graduation.
- Download NACAC’s Guide to Applying to the Netherlands
Cool Country facts
- Purchasing power: 86.8 –Consider the US as 100; a score of 80 means it is 20% less expensive than living in the USA
- Happiness Index Rank: 5 in the world!
- Quality of life: 196.7 (average is 140 across the globe)
- Rainbow Index: 56% LGBTI equality & human rights (average is 68 in Europe)
- US NEWS Best Countries: Rank 12
- Prosperity Index: 6th in the world.
- Learn more through Beyond the States Profile and Educations’ Country Guide
- Generally IB diploma or US diploma + 4 APs make you a competitive candidate.
- The Dutch Government recommends Dutch universities accept Advanced Placement scores for admission purposes “if a student has earned a score of 3, 4 or 5 on at least four AP Exams.” More details at the Collegeboard AP recognition website.
- Check out the Guide for IB students wishing to study in The Netherlands for help information.
Application Process Step by step:
Step 1: Choose your Bachelor’s programme. Here is another searchable database.
- Not sure what you want to study? Try this tool which allows you to enter you primary courses (it is designed for A-Levels, but you can put in your three Higher Levels for IB or Advanced Placement courses).
Step 2: Check the admission requirements + deadlines of the specific programme. Dutchopendays.com can help you find the best time to visit.
Go through matching for your program:
What is matching?
- A study choice check for non-selective programs
- An activity for students to find out, in-depth, the content of a program and the expectations they will need to meet to be successful
- In 2019 this will apply to all programmes (Dutch law)
- Is not part of the admissions procedure/does not affect admissions decision BUT may be mandatory
- Each individual program what the process will include:
- No fees involved
- (Online) skills/interest test or questionnaire
- Motivation letter
- Outcome not binding, only advisory:
- offers candidates insight into their chances of successfully completing the program
Step 3: Apply according to the application guidelines
Step 4: Register with studielink based on the instructions given by the institution. Students are allowed to register for 4 programmes in Studielink
Of those 4 only 2 can be NF
Unless the NF is medicine
Here is a more indepth explanation of the process.
- Spring of Junior year: Research universities and programs.
- studielink and Individual university applications open in Early October.
- General application deadline: May 1, but you are well served to apply sooner.
- University Colleges & Selective programs: deadline between Jan 1 – May 1
- Numerus Fixus programs typically have a deadline of January 15.
- Ranking released April 15 through Studie link
- They will know how many spaces and wehre they are
- they have two weeks to respond.
- Deposits may be required.
- Non-selective programs: deadline May 1 for EU / July 1 for non-EU
- Average Tuition fees (in US Dollars/year):
- Citizens: $2420
- International students: $17,498
- Examples for international students
- University of Maastricht arts/humanities:Euro 8000
- University of Maastricht Business: Euro 8000
- University of Delft Engineering:Euro 14500
- McGill Engineering: $42,392.10
- McGill Business $48,747.90
- McGill Social Sciences: $19,169.70
- Interesting article on student life in the Netherlands
- Overview of Dutch universities
- Information about Numerus Fixus (More selective programs, often requiring higher standards or extra admission components).
- Compare programs at this government website, studiekeuze123. While the website is in Dutch, your Chrome browser will automatically translate it to English.
- Check out these video playlists/webinars from the Dutch Research University Consortium:
DRU Studying in the Netherlands video series
Learn the general story about studying in the Netherlands. This playlist will give you access to short videos about why you might consider the Netherlands as a destination, how you would go about applying and more about admissions, where you might study and what is on offer, practical matters and more.
- The two main rankings of Dutch Higher Education Institutions are Keuzegids and Elsevier. Neither is published in English. Keuzegids offers separate publications covering Research Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences and they are further subdivided into bachelor and master levels. It is possible to access Keuzegids rankings online but only in Dutch.
What is Numerus Fixus?
- A programme with a limited number of spaces–here is a listing (in Dutch) of current Numerus Fixus
- Small number of English-taught programmes have this designation. How does it work?
- The university determines the selection criteria
- All eligible applicants will be ranked by university admissions office
- Ranking is released on April 15
- If selected, student has 2 weeks to accept the offer, no exceptions
- Not selected? As others accept and decline offers, students will move up in rankingDeadlines & important points
- Very strict application deadline: January 15 in Studielink
- Restriction on number of NF programmes to which a student can apply•Highly standardized, no exceptions made
- Popular programmes can be NF: Psychology, Medicine, Physiotherapy, Business (various), International Relations and Organisations
Podcast by David Hawkins, The University Guy
Webinar with David Hawkins:
Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and Belgium