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In 2010, Dutch universities offered more than 1500 programs and short courses in English. The Netherlands has also received international acclaim for its ground-breaking Problem Based Learning system, which trains students to analyze and solve practical problems. Students who study in the Netherlands will develop an open mind and increase their international orientation.

The education system focuses on teamwork which makes it easy to make friends. Approximately 95% of the inhabitants speak English and it is easy to blend in socially during your stay.

International students have for a long time chosen to study in the Netherlands as their top pick study destination. Gaining a diploma in the Netherlands is the key for a successful worldwide career.

Fees and living expenses are relatively low for students pursuing their study in the Netherlands compared to other European countries. The annual tuition fees for the degree programs start at approximately €1,700 for EU students. If you are a non-EU student the costs of the programs and courses generally are higher.

Education in the Netherlands

Candidates who study in the Netherlands gain from a rich education system. Since 1815 the quality guarded by the law and  financed by the government. Dutch children begin school in primary education at the age of four, and leave at the age of twelve. Based on the results of the final exam primary, they move on to secondary education that is pre-vocational, senior general and pre-university.

After secondary education, the students move on to either senior secondary vocational education or higher education. Pursuing your study in the Netherlands guarantees a uniform European qualification due to the Bologna framework

There are two main types of higher education in the Netherlands; university education offered by Research Universities, and higher professional education offered by Universities of Applied Sciences.

Higher professional education

Higher professional education or HBO lasts for 3- 4 years and results in a Bachelor diploma. In the Netherlands, Hogescholen, also called 'universities of applied sciences,'  are more practice-oriented than the university educations and prepare their students directly for careers.

University education

University education in the Netherlands lasts for 4- 5 years and results in a Master degree. The university trains students for an independent practice of science. Universities also award bachelor degrees in some programs.

Both the university education and the higher professional education have a formal length of four years, even though in some cases students are allowed more time than this. The starting level of the higher education is quite high and the academic year starts in late August and ends in mid-June. The programs are designed to require 40 hours a week.

Other forms of higher education

Beside regular four-year programs at Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands has another form of higher education which is more than 40 years old. It is called International Education, or IE which are advanced courses conducted in English. These institutions offer programs designed especially for international students.

International Education in English

The Netherlands has almost 400 different courses and study programs in something called the International Education in English, which each year attract over 4500 participants. These courses have gained a reputation even outside the Netherlands' borders and include courses in management studies, agricultural sciences, astronomy, medicine, civil engineering, remote sensing, and the arts. Students who choose International Education study in the Netherlands is meant for those at postgraduate level with some prior professional experience. The pace is intensive at an advanced level and all courses are conducted in English. The programs, which last anywhere from a few weeks to four years, are practice-oriented and designed to meet the expectations of students seeking specialized knowledge.

Most International Education courses in the Netherlands lead to a diploma. Some of the longer courses lead to a master's degree or a PhD.

To learn more about studying abroad in the Netherlands, check out our informative Study in the Netherlands guide!


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