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The Netherlands

Higher education in the Netherlands

  • Number of higher education institutions: 62
  • Number of students in higher education: 714,490 (2017, ECBS)
  • Number of international students in higher education: 122,000 (2017/2018, Nuffic)
  • Language of instruction: The Netherlands offers more than 2100 English-taught study programmes and courses covering a broad range of fields ( All programmes and courses lead to a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral/PhD degree, a diploma or certificate. For those students who master the Dutch language, the Netherlands also offers many different programmes in Dutch.
  • Typical tuition fees: In the Netherlands tuition fees are relatively low, compared with English-speaking countries. Annual tuition fees for a degree programme or course at a Dutch higher education institution start at €2,060 for students from the European Union (EU). Exceptions are private institutions and university colleges. The cost of programmes and courses for non-EU students are generally higher.

    Typical tuition fee for non EU-students:
    • Bachelor’s degree: (average) €6,000 – €15,000
    • Master’s degree (average) €8,000 – € 20,000
      More information is available from the studyfinder online database.
  • Average length of a full-time higher education programme in the Netherlands:
    • Bachelor’s degree programme: 3 – 4 years
    • Master’s degree programme: 1 – 2 years
    • Doctorate/PhD: 4 years

Quick facts

  • Population: 17,081,507 (2017, CBS)
  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Geographical size: 41,540 km2
  • GDP: € 737.048 billion (2017, CBS)
  • Official EU language(s): Dutch
  • Currency: Euro


8 reasons to study in Holland – Why should you study in the Netherlands?

Did you know that 1 in 10 students in the Netherlands is an international student? The Netherlands has more than 100,000 international students and that number is increasing every year. So why should you study in the Netherlands? 

1. There are 2,100 + programmes in English

Dutch universities offer the largest number of English-taught programmes in continental Europe. Also, 95% of the Dutch speak English, so it’s easy to communicate in daily life. Find your study programme!

2. Get high quality education and value for your money

The quality of Dutch institutions is well-recognised. The tuition fees and cost of living are considerably lower than in English-speaking countries.

Also, there are lots of scholarship opportunities.

3. Be part of an international community

The Netherlands’ many international students come from more than 160 different countries. Dutch society is strongly connected to other cultures, the business community and the world. The Dutch are open-minded and direct, so it is easy to meet them and exchange ideas.

4. Develop valuable skills and be more successful

The Dutch teaching style is interactive and student-centred. Studying in the Netherlands means developing your own opinion, an open mind and increasing your international orientation. You will develop valuable skills such as analysing, solving practical problems and creative thinking.

5. Live in one of the safest and happiest countries in the world