Università in Olanda

Study in the Netherlands – Why study in the Netherlands?

Almost 100,000 international students choose to study in the Netherlands on English-taught courses, not only because of the picturesque canals, famous Dutch architecture, and open culture, but also because tuition fees are comparatively low. In addition, the Dutch government offers generous loans which are open to anyone studying in the Netherlands

For those choosing to study in the Netherlands for the lower tuition fees you will still enjoy world-class universities, a social system that promotes a good work-life balance, and a treasure house of Old Masters to visit in your spare time. 

In summary, if you are looking for a safe, welcoming society close to home then look no further and come study in the Netherlands!

Study in the Netherlands – choosing a university

The Netherlands has two types of universities:

  • Universities of Applied Sciences, which concentrate on technology, developing practical skills and have close links with local industry.
  • Research universities, which offer a traditional range of subjects and courses

Universities of Applied Sciences

Students who study in the Netherlands at Universities of Applied Sciences specialise in specific fields, from agriculture to performing arts, game design and architecture to life sciences.

Unlike research universities, if you study in the Netherlands at a University of Applied Sciences, the course will prepare graduates for specific roles within the job market.  Courses are taught in small classes and there is a strong emphasis on team and project work, as well as innovation and creativity. 

These institutions constantly monitor the job market to ensure their graduates are meeting its needs and learning the skills which are most in-demand. The focus is on problem-based learning, and work placements- both at home and studying abroad- are commonly offered as part of your course. Students usually go abroad after the end of the second year. 

Once you decide you want to study in the Netherlands at a University of Applied Sciences, you will see that there are more than 40 Universities of Applied Sciences to choose from, with courses which usually last for four years.

Graduates are awarded degrees that cite their field of study. For example, if you get a bachelor’s studying nursing, you will have a Bachelor’s in Nursing, and not a BA or BSc. Similarly, if you pass your Master’s, which takes between 1-2 years, you will get a Master’s in a specific field, e.g.: Master in Social Work, rather than an MA or an MSc.

 It is not possible to study in the Netherlands for a doctorate at a University of Applied Sciences.


The most popular Universities of Applied Sciences include: 

Universities of Advanced Science are not part of mainstream ranking systems since they are not research-focussed.

Research Universities

If you want to study in the Netherlands at a research university, you can get your undergraduate degree in three years, whereas a Master’s takes between 1-2 years.

The Netherlands’ research universities are very similar to traditional institutions of learning, found all across the world, with an emphasis on research and independent study.

The table, below, provides an overview of recent rankings – but remember that the ranking of your course is just as important as that of the institution.

Elab can provide you with a detailed analysis of the best universities to apply to study in the Netherlands, and help you choose which degree you should take.

Study in the Netherlands – Popular University Rankings

University QS Global Ranking, 2024 The Global Ranking 2021
Delft University of Technology 47 78
UvA University of Amsterdam 53 66
Wageningen University 151 62
Eindhoven University of Technology 124 187
Utrecht University 107 75
Leiden University 126 70
University of Groningen 139 80
Erasmus University Rotterdam 176 72
University of Twente 210 201

Study in the Netherlands – Choosing a course

Studying abroad in the Netherlands is a great way to enhance your personal, educational, and professional development, as well as to experience another culture. The choice of subject and field is wide, since at present there are over 370 undergraduate courses taught in English in the Netherlands, and 1500 at Master’s level.

Elab works with our Dutch partner universities to ensure that every one of our applicants wanting to study in the Netherlands finds the right course at the right university. We are here to help you with every aspect of the application process to study in the Netherlands, and choosing a course best suited to you is where it all starts. Below are some popular fields of study from which Elab can help you choose a specific course and a great university.

Examples of the most popular fields of study in the Netherlands:

  • Business and Management
  • Agriculture 
  • Environmental studies
  • Liberal arts
  • Engineering
  • Fashion
  • Sports Management
  • Philosophy

Study in the Netherlands: business, management and marketing courses taught in English:

Studying in the Netherlands offers many highly rated business courses taught in English. These include International Business, Business Administration, Business Economics, Business Innovation, Economics and Business Economics and Trade Management for Asia.

With the spread of globalization, the internet, and social media, marketing has become a crucial part of trade, and you can study a broad number of university courses in the Netherlands in this field. For example: Communication and Information Studies; Language and Media; International Communication; International Marketing; Media and Culture; Media and Information; and Media and Entertainment Management. Our consultants will help you decide what is best for you to study in the Netherlands.

 Science and IT courses taught in English:

If you are considering studying in the Netherlands and specialising in science or IT, you have a wide choice of available courses, from areas such as Water Management or  Chemistry to Biosciences. If you are looking for an engineering course, why not consider Civil, Mechanical or General Engineering.  You could also opt for Electrical and Electronic Engineering. 

If computer technology is your passion, why not consider applying for Communication and Multimedia Design, and major in Game Design – a fast-expanding and exciting field, which includes virtual reality and AI. If this is too specialized an area, and you are considering making your career in software, hardware analysis, and network engineering, perhaps you would prefer to do a degree in Computer Science?

Whatever your field, your interests, and your long-term career goals, you will find the perfect science or IT course to study in the Netherlands. Let Elab guide and help you work through your options.

Arts courses taught in English:

Not everyone coming to study in the Netherlands wants to study the human body, engines, motherboards, or accounts, and the more artistic among you will also find the course of your dreams. For example, you could take a degree in Arts and Culture, European Studies; Graphic Design; Liberal Arts or Interactive Media Design –among many options.

Study in the Netherlands – the application process


Research universities in the Netherlands are primarily interested in your academic results, appraisals, achievements, and the reasons you give for wanting to study a particular subject. They tend to have a traditional approach to teaching and learning. 

Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands generally look for students who wish to have a practical educational journey, and thus appraisals and references play a major part in determining whether you will be offered a place. 

If you are interested in studying a course at a Dutch university which is taught in English, you will be asked for proof of language proficiency such as IELTS  CAE, or TOEFL. Our Elab consultants will inform you of the required level and help you prepare.

To apply to study in the Netherlands you may be asked to provide a breakdown of your school timetable, for example, to demonstrate the number of hours you have spent on specific subjects. You may also be asked to write an essay or to take part in an online or telephone interview. 

Application documents:

These typically include:

  • ID Documents
  • School certificate
  • Exam results when available
  • Personal Statement
  • Academic references
  • Certificate stating the number of hours you were taught in those subjects you intend to study in the Netherlands.

 How to apply

To study in the Netherlands you will need to make your application through the StudieLink system, which opens a year before you intend to start your course.

Dutch universities do not have the same deadlines for applications. Some accept them until the very last minute while others, particularly the research universities, expect all applications to be filed by 15 January or 1 May for most courses. 

Although each applicant is allowed to apply to four courses a year, only two of these can be “numerus fixus” for the more popular courses where places are limited. If you do wish to be considered for a numerus fixus course, your application has to be submitted by 15 January. 

You should get a response within a few weeks and have 14 days in which to accept or reject the place you have been offered.

Study in the Netherlands – cost

Tuition fees

If you wish to study in the Netherlands and are an EU citizen, you will pay the statutory tuition fee, which is 2,530 for the academic year 2024-2025.

At present, the Dutch central government is offering all first-year undergraduate students a 50 percent discount on their tuition fees. 

Non-EU students pay the institutional fee, which is far higher.

Cost of living in the bigger cities

When you study in the Netherlands, accommodation will be your greatest expense, but your rent depends to a significant extent on where you decide to live. Obviously, Amsterdam, the Hague, and Rotterdam will charge higher rents than smaller university cities and towns.

To cover your costs while studying in the Netherlands, it has been calculated that you need around 900 -1100 euros a month. This is to cover food, rent, books, entertainment, bills, your mobile phone, internet, etc, and  is inclusive of tuition fees.

The most and least expensive student cities:

 Below, you will find a breakdown of the most popular student cities in the Netherlands in order of how they compare in terms of cost.

  1. Amsterdam 
  2. The Hague 
  3. Rotterdam 
  4. Maastricht 
  5. Eindhoven 
  6. Groningen 


While studying in the Netherlands, accommodation will cost between 350-650 euros a month while renting a shared house.

If you want to economise, why not look for accommodation in the suburbs or small villages near your campus? Transport links are excellent, and you can always bicycle to university, like most of the Dutch!

Financial aid 

All EU citizens who study in the Netherlands are entitled to apply for a Collegegeldkrediet, loan to cover tuition fees, as long as:

  • You are under 30 years old,
  • You have a Dutch bank account,
  • You have a BNS, a national social security number which you will get once you register your permanent address in the Netherlands,
  • You have a confirmed offer of a place at a Dutch university and apply before 31 January in that academic year.

When you study in the Netherlands as an international student, you can also apply for the Studiefinanciering grant if:

  • You work in a registered job,
  • You register for income tax and national insurance,
  • You work at least 56 hours a month, 12 months a year,
  • You apply for the grant three months after you have started working and can produce three months’ worth of payslips.

You may also be eligible to apply for Huurtoeslag Housing benefit. Check your eligibility criteria with Elab.

Study in the Netherlands – other useful information

  • Non-Dutch EU students do not have to buy health insurance but are covered by their EHIC card.
  • 90 per cent of Dutch residents speak English so you will not find it difficult to communicate.
  • Many shops in the Netherlands do not accept cash .In order to avoid paying foreign card fees, make sure you open a Dutch bank account and apply for a card as soon as possible.
  • The OV-ChipKaart offers students generous travel discounts, and costs 7.5 euros. You can buy an anonymous card or open an account.

Study in the Netherlands – Elab’s Five Steps to Success process:

To maximise the chance of receiving an offer from a Dutch university of your choice, Elab’s education consultants guide students through Elab’s carefully designed 5 Steps to Success process:

  • Introduction
  • Diagnostics
  • Personal Profile Map
  • Research
  • University Report
  • Final application choices
  • Application process plan
  • Mentor Program
  • Exam and Interview prep
  • Document completion
  • Application portal setup
  • Submission
  • Acceptance
  • Pre-departure procedures
  • Finances
Enjoyyour studies abroad!
Send us a postcard!

Contact Elab

Leave your details and an Elab Education Consultant will contact you within 48 hours to turn your academic aspirations into reality.