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2020-11-27 00:01:02

Study in the Netherlands: primary, secondary, higher education for foreign students

Study in the Netherlands: primary, secondary, higher education for foreign students

The pride of the Dutch is democracy and innovation in the education system. The virtues of the Dutch teaching system attract students from all over the world. Let's talk about why you should choose the Netherlands as your educational route.

5 reasons to study in the Netherlands


A progressive nation is progressive in everything, including learning. Creativity and innovation have a positive effect on the learning system, creating unique conditions for unlocking potential.

International atmosphere

International benchmarks in education, business, science increase the chances of graduates to find work in international companies and attract students from all over the world. Every tenth student in the country is a foreigner.

Tuition and other expenses

Studying in the Netherlands will require less costs than in top English-speaking countries. The quality of academic programs and the volume of funding are not inferior to the level of British and German universities, therefore, here you will find the ideal ratio of the price and quality of academic programs.

High quality education

University graduates have relevant knowledge and practical skills for a great start and successfully find work anywhere in the world.

Modern approaches to teaching

Students will experience an in-depth study of the subject, mastering important practical skills, independent decision-making and self-discipline play an important role.

Facts about the country and the education system

  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Official language: Dutch
  • Currency: Euro
  • Population: 17 million
  • Average temperature in summer: 16 ° C to 22 ° C
  • Average temperature in winter: 4 ° C-8 ° C
  • Form of government: constitutional monarchy
  • Neighboring countries: Germany, Belgium
  • Popular Cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Leiden, Rotterdam, Utrecht
  • High season: May - August
  • Low season: autumn and winter
  • Language of instruction: Dutch, English
  • Cost of bachelor's programs: from 1200 € to 8500 € per year
  • Additional costs (food, accommodation, transport): about 1800 € monthly
  • Traditionally strong programs: biology, virology, veterinary medicine, general medicine, pharmaceuticals
  • Percentage of international students: 17.9%
  • Entrance exams: none
  • Language requirements: B2-C1
  • Age requirements: 16+
  • Percentage of admissions: 20% -60% (depends on the university).

Languages in the Netherlands: Dutch and English

Dutch is the official language of the country and belongs to West Germanic. But you can find a common language with the local population in English - most Dutch people speak English well. The country was the first to introduce English-language academic programs into the education system both at school and at the university.

Higher education in the Netherlands

Dutch universities receive generous funding, all universities are well equipped and have developed research centers. Biomedicine is a historically strong program: it is no coincidence that the country's healthcare system is considered one of the best in the world, and Dutch scientists have received several Nobel Prizes for achievements in medicine. Many universities accept without entrance exams, but the elite oldest universities require you to unlearn a year at a foreign university and only then enter Dutch universities.

All universities are divided into research (classical) and applied. Applied institutions prepare for professional activity without a bias in science, you can enter them immediately after the school. Research universities require 1 year of study at a domestic university or a one-year Foundation preparatory program. The course is not available in all institutions, but its completion guarantees admission to the bachelor's degree.

Which institutions offer Foundation training:


It is possible to obtain a bachelor's degree from classical research or applied universities with an international reputation. In the first year, students study a large list of disciplines and only in the second they choose a specialization. The training format assumes maximum involvement and independence - at the beginning of the day, students complete assignments and projects, and at the end they present their work and receive feedback from teachers.

  • Duration: 3-4 years
  • Average cost: € 7500 per year
  • Language of instruction: Dutch, English
  • Probability of admission: 17% - 60%
  • Deadline for submission of documents: May 1
  • Dropout rate: 24% -31%
  • Dutch proficiency: NT2 / CNaVT B2
  • Post-Graduate Outlook: 93% find a job
  • Percentage of admission to graduate programs: 52%.

By law, students can earn extra money while studying, but no more than 10 hours a week. To work in your specialty, you need a special permit.

Master's and postgraduate studies

The Dutch teaching system has incorporated the best of the British and American experiences. Universities offer English-language programs in most areas.

  • Language of instruction: Dutch, English
  • Duration: 1-3 years
  • Average cost: € 10,000 per year
  • Deadline for submission of documents: May 1-July 1
  • Probability of admission: 46%
  • Deduction statistics: 24%
  • Post-graduate prospects: 97% of masters find work
  • Percentage of admission to doctoral studies: 12%.

Scholarships and grants in the Netherlands

Students can apply for financial assistance from the university, foundations and government organizations at the stage of admission. Typically, applicants study in advance the list of scholarships from universities for which they can apply.

Popular scholarships:

  • The University of Amsterdam, The Amsterdam Excellence Scholarships, or AES = a grant of 25,000 euros fully covers the studies
  • The Leiden University CEU Praesidium Libertatis Scholarship = covers all expenses while in the country
  • Government program Holland Scholarship = 5000 euros in the first year of study
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship = targeted at bachelors and masters, covers 50% of the costs.

Additional expenses during training

  • Rental housing = 590 €
  • Food and personal expenses = 200 €
  • Travel and trips = 100 €
  • Mobile communications and Internet = 10 €
  • Total = about 1800 €.

Holland visa application

A student visa is issued by universities, it is impossible to make it yourself. The requirement for its registration is a certificate from the bank about the availability of about 13,090 euros on the account: this amount is enough for living in the country for a year. In addition, students must take out two insurances at a cost of 471 euros per year. If the student does not pass half of the credits, the visa is revoked.

Prospects after university

Upon completion of training, the visa automatically ceases to be valid. Those wishing to stay in the country must apply for another one-year visa worth 641 euros. If a specialist manages to find a good job in his profession, a year later he will be able to get another visa - Highly Skilled Migrant - for 938 euros.


TOP 10 universities in the Netherlands (World University Rankings 2020):

  1. Wageningen University & Research
  2. University of Amsterdam
  3. Delft University of Technology
  4. Leiden University
  5. Erasmus University Rotterdam
  6. University of Groningen
  7. Utrecht University
  8. Maastricht University
  9. Radboud University Nijmegen
  10. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

School education

Primary education in the Netherlands starts at the age of 4 and is positioned as compulsory. Missing classes for no valid reason may result in a parental fine. The first years of study are more like a kindergarten, only in grade 3 children learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. It is so arranged that the teacher is not responsible for the poor knowledge of children - the student himself and his parents are considered to be guilty.

At the age of 12, students take CITO testing, the results of which determine their future - those who have coped well with the test go to gymnasiums, and those who do not go to local analogs of vocational schools. Private schools provide an opportunity for children to study according to individual plans, and teachers are more responsible for the student's progress. Foreign students aged 12-13 are encouraged to enroll in transitional international classes in private schools, where they can adapt to the Dutch education system.

The structure of education with prices for 2020

  • Language camp = 947 € -1539 € per week
  • Language schools = 237 € -710 € per week
  • Language courses at the university = 379 € -800 € per week
  • Secondary education = about 21 800 € per year
  • Pre-university courses = 8800 € -16 600 € per year
  • Undergraduate = 8800 € -12 400 € per year
  • Master's degree = 10,000 € -16,000 € per year
  • MBA = 14,000 € -23,000 € per year
  • Doctoral studies = 4400 € -14 200 € per year.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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