You are currently viewing A Guide to Pursuing Higher Education in the Netherlands

Are you considering pursuing your higher education in the Netherlands? With its renowned education system, diverse range of programs, and vibrant student life, the Netherlands is a popular destination for international students. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about studying in the Netherlands, including popular universities, available courses, admission procedures, scholarships, and student life, and of course, how to make the most of it.

1. University of Amsterdam (UvA):

As one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam offers a wide range of programs across various fields. With a strong emphasis on research and critical thinking, UvA provides an intellectually stimulating environment for students, hence, is a very popular choice.

2 Delft University of Technology (TU Delft):

Known for its excellence in engineering and technology, TU Delft is another of the top-ranked technical universities in the world. The university offers a broad spectrum of engineering, applied sciences, and architecture programs, with a focus on innovation and sustainability.

3. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR):

Erasmus University Rotterdam is a renowned destination for higher education in the Netherlands for its expertise in economics, business, and social sciences. With a strong emphasis on research-driven education and practical relevance, EUR prepares students for careers in various fields, including business, public administration, and social sciences.

4. Leiden University:

Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands and offers a wide range of programs across diverse disciplines. The university is particularly known for its programs in humanities, law, and natural sciences. Leiden University has a strong research focus and fosters critical thinking and independent learning.

5. Wageningen University & Research (WUR):

Specializing in agricultural and environmental sciences, WUR is a leading institution in the field of sustainable development. The university offers a range of programs related to food, agriculture, environment, and life sciences. WUR is known for its hands-on approach to education and strong industry connections.

Available Courses and Programs in the Netherlands:

The higher education institutes in the Netherlands offer a diverse range of programs across various disciplines. Some popular areas of study include:

1. Business and Economics:

Many universities in the Netherlands offer internationally recognized programs in business administration, finance, marketing, and economics. These programs often have a practical approach, incorporating real-world case studies and internships. As a result, these courses can turn to be quite fruitful when it comes to in-demand job skills.

2. Engineering and Technology:

The Netherlands is known for its excellence in engineering and technology. You can find programs in engineering fields such as civil , mechanical, electrical, computer science, and aerospace engineering for higher education in the Netherlands.

3. Natural Sciences:

Several universities in the Netherlands offer programs in natural sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental sciences. These programs often combine theoretical knowledge with practical research.

4. Social Sciences and Humanities:

If you’re interested in social sciences, psychology, sociology, history, or languages, Dutch universities offer a wide range of programs in these fields. These programs, consequently, often focus on critical thinking, research, and interdisciplinary approaches.

Admission Procedures:

The admission procedures for universities in the Netherlands may vary slightly from one institution to another. However, here is a general overview of the steps involved:

1. Research and Choose a Program:

Explore the programs offered by different universities for higher education in the Netherlands. Also consider your academic interests, career goals, and the admission requirements for each program.

2. Check Admission Requirements:

Review the specific admission requirements for the program you’re interested in. This may include academic qualifications, language proficiency (typically English), and any additional requirements such as a motivation letter or portfolio.

3. Apply Online:

Most universities for higher education in the Netherlands have an online application process. In order to apply, simply create an account on the university’s application portal and submit the required documents, including your academic transcripts, CV, motivation letter, and any other specified documents.

4. Pay Application Fees:

Some universities may require you to pay an application fee when submitting your application. The fee amount varies, so check the university’s website for details.

5. Wait for Admission Decision:

After submitting your application, the university will review your documents and make an admission decision. This process can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the university and program.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for higher education in the Netherlands:

The Netherlands offers several scholarships and financial aid options to support international students. Some prominent scholarships include the following:

1. Holland Scholarship:

The Holland Scholarship is a partial scholarship available to non-EEA (European Economic Area) students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the Netherlands. It covers part of the tuition fees and provides a monthly allowance.

2. Erasmus Mundus Scholarships:

Erasmus Mundus scholarships are prestigious scholarships offered to international students enrolling in specific Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree programs. These scholarships cover tuition fees, travel expenses, and provide a monthly stipend.

3. University-specific Scholarships:

Many universities in the Netherlands have their own scholarship programs for international students. Check the official websites of your preferred universities for information on the scholarships they offer.

Student Life in the Netherlands:

Pursuing higher education in the Netherlands offers more than just excellent academics. The country provides a vibrant and enriching student life. Here are some highlights:

1. Cultural Experiences:

The Netherlands is known for its rich cultural heritage and offers a range of museums, art galleries, and historical sites to explore. Not to mention, immerse yourself in Dutch culture, visit festivals, and enjoy the country’s diverse culinary scene.

2. Outdoor Activities:

The Netherlands has beautiful landscapes and a well-developed cycling infrastructure. Take advantage of the numerous parks, beaches, and nature reserves for outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and water sports.

3. Student Associations and Clubs:

Joining student associations and clubs is a great way to meet fellow students and engage in extracurricular activities while pursuing higher education in the Netherlands. Whether you’re interested in sports, arts, or social causes, there are plenty of options to get involved.

4. International Communities:

The Netherlands is home to a large international student population, which consequently creates a vibrant and diverse community. Engage with international student associations and networks to connect with students from around the world.

5. Travel Opportunities:

The Netherlands’ central location in Europe makes it easy to explore neighboring countries. Take advantage of affordable transportation options and discover new cultures, languages, and landmarks during your study breaks.


Studying in the Netherlands offers an enriching educational experience, with a wide range of programs, top-ranked universities, and a vibrant student life. From business and engineering to natural sciences and social sciences, there are plenty of opportunities to pursue your academic interests. By following the admission procedures, exploring scholarship options, and immersing yourself in the Dutch culture, you can make the most of your higher education journey in the Netherlands. So, start researching the universities and programs that interest you, and embark on an exciting educational adventure in the heart of Europe.

(Note: The official websites of the universities mentioned are provided in the respective descriptions of each university)