Standard Degree Length
Good to Know
With more than 2000 courses available, universities in the Netherlands offer the greatest choice of courses taught in English in mainland Europe. This is in addition to the courses offered in Dutch. When this is combined with a high quality of higher education, comparatively low fees for both EU and international students, and some world-leading universities, it is an attractive destination for our students. There are two types of institution in the Netherlands: research universities and universities of applied sciences. At the former, the education tends to be more theoretical, while at a UAS you could expect a more practical education, perhaps with more project work, integrated internships and more direct relevance to the world of work.
There are very few private institutions in the Netherlands, and the education culture is one of relatively open access. This means that passing the first year is very important; the binding study advice (BSA) is in place after the first year at many universities. If students don’t meet this, they may have to transfer elsewhere and not reapply to that course. To help students make the right choice, many institutions have ‘matching’ classes or questionnaires.
The Netherlands is a welcoming country for non-Dutch students. English is very widely spoken, and currently there is a possibility to stay for an ‘orientation’ year to establish a career and apply for residency.
Bachelors degrees last for 3 years at research universities and 4 years at a UAS, although it is sometime possible to follow an accelerated programme and graduate in 3 years.
All models of education can be found in the Netherlands. Most research universities and UAS offer single honours degrees and interdisciplinary and problem-based learning are very well developed. Of note are the Liberal Arts and Sciences programmes offered at the 9 university colleges: small, residential colleges within research universities offering a US-style liberal arts education. There are also performing arts conservatoires and specialist school of fine and applied arts.
A small number
Some - the university colleges
Several, and some specialist programmes or partnerships at research universities
A small number of private institutions, including a hotel school
1 in Leiden
There are 18 research universities offering an academic education
When to Apply
The IB is widely accepted in the Netherlands and regarded as equivalent to the national curriculum (VWO). Most universities will publish IB entry requirements. Note that Standard Level Mathematics Applications and Interpretations is not accepted by a lot of the business, STEM and psychology courses at Dutch research universities.
Explore the university profiles for this country on the CareersExplore Platform.
Amsterdam University College (AUC)
Dedicated academic building and student residences. Connected to UvA and VU campuses.
Small Institution <5000
School of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam
UvA has 4 open city campuses
Very Large Institution >30,000
Amsterdam School of International Business (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences)
Modern city campus with range of facilities
Small Institution <5000
Global Scholarships is a database holding lots of scholarships which are available to students who would like to study at university. This is a global database so holds scholarship information for a wide range of different countries.
This site is run by a company that supports university applications and whilst its university database is not exhaustive, within the application requirements tab on each university profile they have the average IB scores accepted and where available the application success rate. They also have average living costs for the area, rankings overviews and some scholarship information. Be aware that they list programs in all languages, not just English and the IB scores and success rate percentages are averages across the whole institution. However, they are a good indicator if the university does not publish more detailed information.
Studielink is the enrolment portal for the Netherlands which the majority of universities use as the first phase of the application process
The University Colleges
A pdf overview of each of the University Colleges in the Netherlands. It includes a handy comparison table and enables you to quickly find which colleges offer the combination of subjects you are interested in.
Studie Keuze 123
Studie Keuze 123 is a search engine for Dutch students looking for courses and universities where the programs are taught in Dutch.
Study in Holland
Study in Holland allows you to search for degrees taught in English in the Netherlands. There are some filters and make sure you set the selection to undergraduate otherwise it will return Masters courses as well.
A global resource for students wanting to study internationally to find scholarships and grant opportunities