Annual tuition fees at around €1700 for EU students – that’s about £1400!
• Over 1500 courses are taught exclusively in English, and the academic year runs September-July, same as in the UK
You’re entitled to a place at a Dutch university if you have a school leaving certificate – in England this means 2 completed A-levels at any pass grade
Situated in the middle of Western Europe, The Netherlands is a melting pot of multinationals and a very high fluency of English is widely spoken
With 50 minute flights and 4 hour trains, Amsterdam is more easily accessible than most of Scotland!
How does the university system work
There are two main types of university in the Netherlands – research universities, and universities of applied sciences
Research universities focus on the independent practice of research-oriented work in an academic or professional setting
Universities of applied sciences offer programmes designed for students looking to enter a specific career upon graduation. They include work placements and a period of studying abroad
As well as these two main categories, university colleges and private universities also offer a variety of undergraduate courses
University colleges are a more specialised branch of public universities and specialise in teaching the liberal arts degrees of the US undergraduate model. All students are required to live on-campus, so places are slightly more restricted
Private universities tend to specialise in niche subjects and charge the highest fees
For oversubscribed courses, a lottery system is in place for random allocation; this is numerus fixus
Most courses taught in English are unaffected by this; the exceptions are subjects like medicine and law
Studying for a PhD
The Netherlands has a great research reputation – it comes second on international scales with the number of publications per researcher, and fourth place on the citation impact scores
PhD degrees are only offered by research universities
PhD candidates in Holland are regarded as professional researchers rather than as students; this is strengthened by the fact that the majority of them are employed in their research capacity
Where can I study
The following universities top the Dutch contingent of the Times higher education world rankings 2011-2012 –
A full list of Dutch universities can be found at the bottom of this page
What is it like to live there
Language and culture
The Netherlands is a very liberal and open-minded country, welcoming over 190 different nationalities living in its many cities and villages
As well as Dutch, the vast majority of people speak English fluently and often another language such as French or German
People are very frank, friendly and helpful. Things like punctuality and politeness are important
Society is non-hierarchical and familiar; teachers and students can dress informally, debate freely and working relations are much more informal than in the UK
Great student scene organised through networks of associations across universities. As a whole, student life integrates with society rather than functioning as an isolated social cloud
Groningen is the city with the largest student population, at almost 30% students
Other cities with strong student contingents are Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Tilburg, Leiden, Enschede and Maastricht
Transport and safety
The country is very safe by international standards, with low levels of street crime and violence
The Netherlands has a very good railway network with hundreds of stations across the country; a railcard is a good investment. Interrailing around Europe is also very easy; Paris, Brussels and Berlin are only hours away
Cycling is the quickest and cheapest way of getting around – there are over 13 million bikes in the Netherlands. Most Dutch people, regardless of status or profession, cycle regularly. Just be sure to buy at least one strong lock!
How much will it cost
Fees are much cheaper than in England, at around €1700 annually for EU students – that’s about £1400. These must be paid prior to commencement of study
Students can live comfortably on around €700 a month
Dutch law requires everyone to be covered by health insurance, so you must take out an insurance policy with a private company. Even as a UK national, you aren’t eligible for an EHIC card as you won’t be ordinarily resident in the UK
How to apply
1. Find a study programme
Holland offers more than 1,500 study programmes and courses taught in English. Examine the available study programmes on at www.studyfinder.nl.
2. Check the accreditation
Check whether the programme of your choice is accredited by the NVAO (Accreditation Organization of The Netherlands and Flanders) or by another organisation. Accreditation is an important indication of the quality of the programme.
3. Check the institution
By signing the Code of Conduct, the institutions offer students a guarantee of the quality of their programmes, student recruitment, selection and counselling procedures. Visit www.internationalstudy.nl to find out whether the institution of your choice appears on the list of institutions that have signed the Code of Conduct.
4. Arrange funding
If you cannot rely on your own funds for studying, you can look for scholarships on www.grantfinder.nl. You can also contact the Dutch Embassy in your home country or your institution’s international relations office.
5. Apply for the course
Studielink is roughly the Dutch equivalent of UCAS, and applications should be made through here
However it’s advisable to contact the university you want to apply to directly as well, as studielink is quite a new platform, and the university may want slightly different information from you
The studielink website breaks down how to use it and apply for Dutch universities very clearly here
The offers issued by Dutch universities won’t be conditional on specific grades as just a pass in 2 A levels is necessary for admission
6. Find a place to live
Finding housing can be difficult, make sure you start looking as soon as possible. Don’t forget to ask your host institution for help in arranging a place for you to live. They should be able to provide you with more information.
Any visa requirements - Can I work while I am there
Coming from the UK, you don’t need a visa to live, work and study in the Netherlands
It’s advisable to register with the immigration authorities, purely for the purpose of simplifying the processes like getting a telephone or TV subscription
You are free to work as many hours as you want alongside your studies, and don’t need a work permit to do so
Get connected with Study in Holland
Study in Holland is active on several online networks. Its YouTube channel provides a good visual impression of what to expect from studying in the Netherlands, and the latest news and updates are regularly posted on Twitter
By liking the Facebook page of Study in Holland, you will be kept informed of the latest events and activities.
You can also directly ask questions, discuss certain topics or simply share your ideas! Interact with Study in Holland and enhance your Dutch experience!
What the experts say...
"It's a common misconception that you have to learn a new language to study abroad but in Holland their degrees are taught in English, their tuition fees are around £1,500 a year and it's really not that far from the UK - so all of these factors certainly make Holland the perfect study destination. You'll be in university for four years and will be very hands on in the classroom as they love the 'problem-solving' teaching method. This will see you building relationships with employers and working in groups which is great for you to step out onto the job market and be totally clued up on your industry.
To discover if Holland is the right study destination for you I'd certainly recommend quizzing Dutch universities about what they have on offer. The next wise step is to pop over to Holland for a couple of days, visit the campuses (which are incredible) and this will allow you to get a vibe for the whole place. Go with your parents and your friends and discover what Holland has to offer. The cities are all unique and accessible so you shouldn't have any trouble plus everyone speaks English which is a massive bonus!"