Study in the Netherlands
At this point, over 58,000 international students study in the Netherlands.
Education System in the NetherlandsThe education system in the Netherlands consists of 3 types of universities that offer bachelor, master and PhD programs. There is a fundamental difference between the types of universities. This difference has to do with the focus of education, the lenght of the programs and the degree that is awarded upon completion of a study program. The education system in the Netherlands comprises:
- Research Universities: traditional university education preparing for academic or professional careers.
- Universities of Applied Sciences : professional education with a practice oriented approach.
- Institutes for International Education : academic education focusing primarily on development issues.
AccreditationAccreditation and quality control form the basis of a reliable education system. The Dutch Ministry of Education is responsible for the quality of all higher education in the Netherlands. The Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is responsible for accreditating all degree programs. Programs that meet the highest standards are listed in a Central Register (CROHO). This comprehensive system of accreditation and quality control makes studying in the Netherlands a safe bet.
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Value for MoneyStudying in the Netherlands is synonymous with excellent value for money. Education is not free of charge but tuition fees are reasonably priced. In comparison to the UK (market leader in Europe) tuition fees are very affordable. For the academic year 2012-2013, EU students pay around 1.750 euros per year for a bachelor or master program. In the UK and US, students pay around 10,000 to 15,000 euros for a bachelor or master program. In the Netherlands, Non-EU students pay more but on average still around 30% less than in the UK.
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University RankingsUniversity rankings are key indicators of education and research quality. They play an important role in students' assessment of universities. Universities from the Netherlands have claimed their spot among the best performing institutions in the world. According to the influential Times Higher ranking, 12 of the 14 Dutch research universities are in the European top 80 and the world's top 200. This makes the Netherlands the 3rd best performing country in the world university rankings. This is also one of the reasons why studying in the Netherlands has become so popular with international students.
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University Degree ProgramsUniversities in the Netherlands offer over 1,500 degree programs in English. There are over 300 English bachelor degree programs. These take 3 or 4 years to complete. After completing your bachelor, you can go on to do a master program. There are nearly 1000 master degree programs in English on offer in the Netherlands. A master program will take you 1 or 2 years to complete. After your master, you can do a PhD program. PhD degree programs will take 4 years to complete. Dutch universities also offer a range of short courses. These programs will not lead to an official degree, instead you will be awarded a certificate.
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Bachelor Degree Programs in the Netherlands
Bachelor degree programs in the Netherlands are offered by all types of universities. Research Universities and Institutes for International Education offer bachelor programs that usually take 3 years to complete. Upon completion you will be awarded with an officially accredited BA, BSc, or LLB degree. Universities of Applied Sciences offer bachelor degree programs that take 4 years to complete and will lead to an official professional bachelor diploma.
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Bachelor AdmissionIf you want to study in the Netherlands and pursue a bachelor degree, you will need to meet a set of general admission requirements. Although all universities have their own specific admission requirements, some criteria are the same for all schools. In order to get admitted to a bachelor program you will need to have a high school diploma that is (roughly) equivalent to the Dutch high school diploma.
The Bachelor Admission page provides you with an overview of diplomas that are considered equivalent to the Dutch secondary school diploma.
Master Degree Programs in the NetherlandsMaster degree programs in the Netherlands come in several shapes and forms. Research Universities and Institutes for International Education offer master and research master programs. Most master programs take 1 year to complete whereas research master programs have a research component and last 2 years. Upon completion you will be awarded with an officially accredited MA, MSc. LLM or MBA degree. If you study for a master degree at a University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands you will ususally be able to complete it within one year. This will earn you a recognized professional Master degree.
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Master AdmissionStudents who wish to study for a Master degree in the Netherlands will need to have a diploma that is equivalent to a Dutch Bachelor degree. Having the right diploma is not the only requirement. Most Dutch universities have their own specific admission requirements which usually include having passed an English test, a GMAT exam (for MBA programs) or a GRE test (for Science and Engineering programs).
The Master Admission page provides you with an overview of diplomas that are considered equivalent to the Dutch Bachelor diploma.
PhD Degree Programs in the NetherlandsA PhD program is the most advanced study program in the Netherlands. PhD education is solely offered by Research Universities and Institutes for International Education. PhD degree programs take 4 years (on average) to complete and will lead to an officially accredited and internationally recognized Doctoral degree.
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PhD AdmissionIf you are considering to study in the Netherlands in order to obtain a PhD degree, you will need to have at least a master degree from a recognized university. There are no other official requirements (except maybe having a satisfactory English test score) for being admitted to a PhD program. It is usually the professor who decides whether you can enrol in the program. Admission procedures tend to differ from one university to the other. You are therefore advised to approach the university directly.
The PhD Admission page provides you with an overview of diplomas that are considered equivalent to the Dutch Master diploma.
Short Courses in the NetherlandsA vast number of international students come to study in the Netherlands in order to do a short course. Short courses are usually professional courses or workshops in a very specific subject area. Short courses are offered by Research Universities, Institutes for International Education and Universities of Applied Sciences. Upon completion of a short course you will be awarded a certificate.
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In order to get admitted to an English taught study program in the Netherlands, all non-native speakers will need to take an English Test. There are 2 types of tests that are accepted by Dutch Universities: TOEFL and IELTS. Both tests assess the students English proficiency of the 4 core competencies: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Read more about the English Test: TOEFL and IELTS
Study in the Netherlands ExperienceEvery year, around 35,000 international students come to study in the Netherlands. You might wonder what all these students have to say about their experience?! At educationfair.nl you can find out for yourself.
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Book Club: The Top Five Dutch Cities for Expat Students
Book Club: The Top Five Dutch Cities for Expat Students Ready to hit the books in the Netherlands? Plenty of Dutch cities are student-friendly, ensuring that you won't have difficulties adapting to your new life in the Netherlands, and enabling you to make the most of your university experience. Curious to know the top 5?
Read more about the Top 5 Dutch Cities for Expat Students: