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    I am a mature student (24 years old) going into my second year this September at the University of Hull studying Economics and Finance. At school and sixth form, although intelligent, I was incredibly lazy and my grades reflected that - I received mainly B's and C's in my GCSE's and A-Levels. I took a few years out of education and travelled the world. I came back far more motivated and as a result I have received a strong 1st in my first year at university, and I am expecting a 1st overall in two years time.

    How difficult would it be to get into a top 5 university in the Netherlands to study a masters in economics taking into account my history - average GCSE grades, average university, but very good university grades and a lot of extra curriculum activities.

    What I want to know is, how competitive are masters courses in the Netherlands?

    Thank you
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    Not that competitive imo
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    There are barely over 5 universities in the Netherlands. :lol:
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    (Original post by mrahim)
    Not that competitive imo
    Yeah that's kind of the vibe I was getting. But I don't understand it. I mean, there's 17 million people in the Netherlands. I don't know how many of them are 18 - 21, but surely there has to be some kind of competition? I mean, what's to stop everyone from applying to the #1 university?
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    (Original post by ImNotSuperman)
    Yeah that's kind of the vibe I was getting. But I don't understand it. I mean, there's 17 million people in the Netherlands. I don't know how many of them are 18 - 21, but surely there has to be some kind of competition? I mean, what's to stop everyone from applying to the #1 university?
    Maybe a more socialist mindset? I don't know. I just commented to know other's opinions. But say Maatricht is a top uni, i know a very stupid guy who got in there. So how tough can it be.
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    Hey, I'm studying for a master's at Leiden and I work for the university.

    It's fairly easy to get into a Dutch uni for a master's. My educational background was similar to yours (except I didn't even get a first) and it wasn't a problem getting a place.

    They have a selective secondary education system, much like we had with grammar schools, etc, which means that far fewer are eligible to enter their research universities. However, this also means that as long as you pass your pre-university exams you're likely to get a place at whichever university you choose (this doesn't include popular courses like medicine and psychology - but even then they have a lottery rather than a rigorous selection process).

    They don't have the problem of everyone applying to the top university because there isn't really one top university; they are all roughly ranked the same. It's quite interesting actually, in my experience Dutch students really don't take rankings into account, they're more interested in stuff like the university culture or the location.

    Things only really get tricky when it comes to applying for a research master's. These are two year degrees that are set up to prepare students for PhDs. Generally speaking, you need an average grade of 7.5 (a decent 2:1) and an 8 for your dissertation (a first). I applied to two and only got an offer from one (Amsterdam).

    I can't speak for sure about economics, Leiden doesn't offer that, but I think it'll be a similar situation.
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    (Original post by ImNotSuperman)
    Yeah that's kind of the vibe I was getting. But I don't understand it. I mean, there's 17 million people in the Netherlands. I don't know how many of them are 18 - 21, but surely there has to be some kind of competition? I mean, what's to stop everyone from applying to the #1 university?
    Many of them go to Hogeschools, which are akin to polytechnics.
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    I went to Utrecht University for an LLM in Public International Law and I have a first from a post-1992. I also got an offer from Leiden University. From all the people I met during my year it seems that as long as you've got a 2:1 then you'll get an offer. Unless the course is wildly popular at a particular university then they might be more selective or if the course is small like the research masters (like our MPhil).

    I hope you choose to go. I had a great time and it opened a lot of doors. Let me know if you have any questions about studying there.
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    (Original post by alexgilder)
    I went to Utrecht University for an LLM in Public International Law and I have a first from a post-1992. I also got an offer from Leiden University. From all the people I met during my year it seems that as long as you've got a 2:1 then you'll get an offer. Unless the course is wildly popular at a particular university then they might be more selective or if the course is small like the research masters (like our MPhil).

    I hope you choose to go. I had a great time and it opened a lot of doors. Let me know if you have any questions about studying there.
    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to the Netherlands next week for a month. It will be my first time visiting. Did you attempt to learn Dutch? What kind of opportunities did it open that you couldn't have received if you went to an English university. And finally, are you still there now, or gone back to the UK?
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    (Original post by ImNotSuperman)
    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to the Netherlands next week for a month. It will be my first time visiting. Did you attempt to learn Dutch? What kind of opportunities did it open that you couldn't have received if you went to an English university. And finally, are you still there now, or gone back to the UK?
    All my Dutch friends said not to bother learning their language. If you're staying longer than a year then yes learn but if you're doing a one-year masters then consensus is don't bother. I always felt guilty in the city centre just breaking straight into English and expecting the Dutch person in the shop or restaurant to click and answer me in English but it was never really an issue. I only came across maybe 2 or three people where a friend had to translate for me.

    Opportunity wisely my experience was all law based. I got to do a mooting competition open to Dutch and Belgian universities in the specialised area of law I want to go into. I'm an editor of a peer-reviewed, student-led journal in international law at Utrecht University. Lastly, the law faculty paid for me to go to Croatia on a course directly relevant to the PhD studies I've just started.

    I'm back in the UK now at City University London but go over to Utrecht at the end of this month for my masters graduation. Hull has an erasmus exchange for their LLB programme to go to Utrecht and I briefly met one of the girls who was there for the last year if you'd like to get in touch with her.
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    (Original post by alexgilder)
    All my Dutch friends said not to bother learning their language. If you're staying longer than a year then yes learn but if you're doing a one-year masters then consensus is don't bother. I always felt guilty in the city centre just breaking straight into English and expecting the Dutch person in the shop or restaurant to click and answer me in English but it was never really an issue. I only came across maybe 2 or three people where a friend had to translate for me.

    Opportunity wisely my experience was all law based. I got to do a mooting competition open to Dutch and Belgian universities in the specialised area of law I want to go into. I'm an editor of a peer-reviewed, student-led journal in international law at Utrecht University. Lastly, the law faculty paid for me to go to Croatia on a course directly relevant to the PhD studies I've just started.

    I'm back in the UK now at City University London but go over to Utrecht at the end of this month for my masters graduation. Hull has an erasmus exchange for their LLB programme to go to Utrecht and I briefly met one of the girls who was there for the last year if you'd like to get in touch with her.
    Yeah I'd love to get in touch with her, I have so many questions. I arrived in the Netherlands a couple of days ago, although just for a one month holiday but so far I love it. I love that they bike everywhere. What are the main websites in the Netherlands for buying things? For example in the UK I primarily use eBay and Amazon, but those two sites don't seem to be big over here. Although I have bought a few things from ebay.nl and ebay.co.uk with free shipping to the NL. Also the bike prices seem to be ridiculously high. The cheapest second hand bike I could find was 90 euros, but the majority are 200+.
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    (Original post by ImNotSuperman)
    Yeah I'd love to get in touch with her, I have so many questions. I arrived in the Netherlands a couple of days ago, although just for a one month holiday but so far I love it. I love that they bike everywhere. What are the main websites in the Netherlands for buying things? For example in the UK I primarily use eBay and Amazon, but those two sites don't seem to be big over here. Although I have bought a few things from ebay.nl and ebay.co.uk with free shipping to the NL. Also the bike prices seem to be ridiculously high. The cheapest second hand bike I could find was 90 euros, but the majority are 200+.
    They use bol.com for a lot of stuff and Amazon.de does free shipping to the Netherlands (and being lovely Germans Amazon.de has an English version).

    Bikes are really expensive right now because university is starting on Monday. The sellers know the international students need them. They drop to €50 for cheapest ones and €80-100 for pretty good ones after the immediate rush.
 
 
 
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