One of the countries in Europe that are growing in popularity for foreigners is the Netherlands. The country offers opportunities that make teaching and learning very simple. So, if you wish to study here, learn about the best universities in the Netherlands for international students.
Holland or the Netherlands is home to a large population of foreigners from different parts of the world. It is also a founding member of many international and intergovernmental organizations.
The Netherlands was among the first non-native English-speaking countries to offer academic programs in English to international students. If you enroll in any post-secondary institution in the nation, you will study either in English or Dutch depending on your proficiency.
Additionally, the nation is liberal and has a reputation for welcoming foreigners and helping them to immerse in the Dutch culture. It is for these reasons that international students go to the Netherland to pursue their degrees.
The Netherlands has two types of higher education institutions such as universities of applied sciences (hogescholen; HBO), and research universities (universiteiten; WO). Universities of applied sciences prepare students for specific vocations while research universities offer more general courses.
According to QS World University rankings, many universities in the Netherlands rank among the top 500 universities in the world. For example, the University of Amsterdam ranks 55th in the 2022 QS World University rankings.
Is university education in the Netherlands free for international students?
Universities in the Netherlands for international students are not free. However, the Dutch government subsidizes the cost of education so that it can be affordable for international students.
As for the 2021/2022 academic year, international students in Dutch universities will pay €2,168. This is actually the same amount that domestic students pay.
If you are from a country outside of the EU/EEA area, then you should expect to pay between €6,000 and €15,000 per year for an undergraduate course, and between €8,000 and €20,000 per year for a postgraduate course.
If you choose to go to a private higher education institution, you can expect to pay a higher tuition fee whether you are an EU/EEA or international student.
How much does it cost to study in the Netherlands for international students?
The cost of your education will depend on the type of school (public or private) that you will attend and the location.
If you are from a non-EU/EEA country, you should expect to pay between €6,000 and €15,000 per year for an undergraduate program and between €8,000 and €20,000 per year for a postgraduate program.
On the other hand, you will have to pay for the cost of living and it covers books, accommodation, feeding, transportation, etc. The cost of living for international students in the Netherlands is about €800 – €1,000 per month.
Is the Netherlands cheaper than India for international students?
No! The cost of studying in India for international students is relatively cheap when compared to the Netherlands.
In India, international students pay a tuition fee of $400 for undergraduate programs in public institutions while private universities charge approximately $3000.
In addition, the cost of living for international students in India is cheaper than in the Netherlands. You can expect to pay accommodation costs ranging from $700 to $2000 per year.
Can international students work while studying in the Netherlands?
Most international students in almost every country work while studying in order to make some money to cover the cost of tuition and living.
International students from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland can work freely without a work permit while pursuing their degrees. If you come from a non-EU/EEA country, you must obtain a work permit from your employer. The work permit will enable you to work for up to 16 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during breaks (June, July, and August).
In what language do universities in the Netherland teach?
Like we said earlier, the Netherlands was among the first non-native English-speaking countries to offer academic programs in English to international students.
Higher institutions in the Netherlands administer most undergraduate programs in the Dutch language. However, some bachelor’s degree programs are offered in English.
At the graduate and post-graduate levels, classes are taken either in English or Dutch depending on your proficiency.
Must international students first do a language course in the Netherlands?
No. Many Netherlanders speak English as a second language. You will also discover that many schools in the Netherlands offer undergraduate and graduate programs in English. If you can speak English, then you need not worry about learning the Dutch language.
However, taking a Dutch language class will be helpful especially if you plan to stay in the Netherlands after your studies.
Top Universities In The Netherlands For International Students
There are several universities in the Netherlands where international students can study to acquire any type of degree they want. Here, we will give you a list of the best universities in the Netherlands that offer top-notch academic programs to international students.
The list of the best universities was compiled based on research capacity, reputation, accreditation, and international student body.
Therefore, the top universities in the Netherlands for international students are as follows:
- Delft University of Technology
- University of Amsterdam
- Eindhoven University of Technology
- University of Groningen
- Leiden University
- Utrecht University
- Wageningen University
- Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Radboud University Nijmegen
- Erasmus University Rotterdam
1. Delft University of Technology
Delft University is the first school on our list of Universities In The Netherlands For International Students. Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a public technical university in Delft, the Netherlands that was established in 1842. It is the oldest and largest technical university in the nation.
TU Delft has an enrollment of 26,000 students along with 6,000 faculty and management staff.
The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree programs in different fields of study. Every academic year is divided into two semesters – the first semester (September to January) and the second semester (end of January to July). Students take classes on OpenCourseWare.
Meanwhile, TU Delft offers academic programs through the following eight (8) faculties:
- Architecture and the Built Environment
- Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE)
- Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science (EEMCS)
- Technology, Policy, and Management (TPM)
- Aerospace Engineering (AE)
- Applied Sciences (AS)
- Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG)
- Industrial Design Engineering (IDE)
According to the 2020 QS World University Rankings, TU Delft was ranked 15th among the best universities for engineering and technology worldwide. The 2019 Times Higher Education ranked TU Delft 19th on its list of best engineering universities in the world.
TU Delft appears as the best in the list of universities in the Netherlands for international students.
Delft University of Technology holds accreditation from the Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Nederland (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Netherlands).
2. University of Amsterdam
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is a public research university in Amsterdam, the Netherlands that was founded in 1632. It is one of the largest universities for research in the Netherlands and in Europe.
UvA population comprises 31,186 students, 4,794 staff, 1,340 PhD students. The institution attracts more than 2,500 international students and researchers from over 100 countries all over the world.
UvA administers academic programs through seven (7) faculties including Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, Dentistry.
According to the QS World University Rankings, UvA ranks 75th in four out of five of the domains. The domains include Social Sciences & Management (41), Arts & Humanities (43), Life Sciences & Medicine (69), and Natural Sciences (75).
Additionally, the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UvA #30 in Arts & Humanities and #40 in Social Sciences. These rankings make UvA the highest-ranking Dutch university in Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences and the highest-ranking university in the Social Sciences in Europe.
The University of Amsterdam holds accreditation from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science.
3. Eindhoven University of Technology
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a public technical university in the Netherlands that was established in 1956.
Statistics from 2021 shows that TU/e enrolled about 14,000 students in its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. In addition, approximately 1350 students were enrolled in its Ph.D. and PDEng programs.
As one of the universities in the Netherlands for international students, the Eindhoven University of Technology offers these academic programs through nine departments and they include:
- Biomedical Engineering
- Built Environment
- Electrical Engineering
- Industrial Design
- Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
- Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences
- Applied Physics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mathematics and Computer Science
In the 2019 QS World University Rankings, TU/e ranks 99th in the world, 34th in Europe, and 3rd in the Netherlands.
4. University of Groningen
The University of Groningen (UG) is a public research university in the city of Groningen, the Netherlands that was established in 1614.
As of 2020, the university had an enrollment of 34,000 students whereby 8,250 are international students. Foreigners consider UG as one of the top universities in the Netherlands for international students.
UG offers over 45 bachelor’s and over 120 master’s degree programs as well as over 40 research programs through 11 faculties, 9 graduate schools, 27 research centers, and institutes. The good thing is that most of the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are offered in English.
UG is ranked #3 in the Netherlands, #25 in Europe, and #77 worldwide in the 2020 ARTU rankings. According to the 2019 Times Higher Education rankings, UG is ranked 26th all over the world.
5. Leiden University
Leiden University is another one of the Universities In The Netherlands For International Students. It is a public research university in Leiden, the Netherlands that was established in 1575. It is one of the oldest and most notable universities in the nation.
LEI comprises seven (7) academic faculties that offer around 50 undergraduate and over 100 graduate degree programs. The faculties include Archaeology, Governance & Global Affairs, Humanities, Law, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Medicine/LUMC, and Science.
At the undergraduate level, students take classes leading to the award of either a B.A., B.Sc., or LL.B. degree. However, Leiden University does not offer degrees including B.Eng. or B.F.A.
Reviews show that Leiden University is one of the best universities in the Netherlands for international students.
6. Utrecht University
This is one of the Universities In The Netherlands For International Students.
Founded in 1636, Utrecht University (UU) is a public research university in Utrecht, Netherlands. The institution is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands.
Statistics show that UU had an enrollment of 31,801 students and employment of 7,191 faculty and staff.
Utrecht University comprises seven (7) faculties. The faculties are as follows: Geosciences, Humanities, Law, Economics & Governance, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Medicine, Science, and Veterinary Medicine.
The 2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UU 1st in the Netherlands and 50th worldwide. In addition, Utrecht ranks 69th in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
7. Wageningen University
Wageningen University & Research (Wageningen UR or WUR) is a public university in Wageningen, the Netherlands that was founded in 1876. It specializes in technical and engineering subjects. Additionally, WUR is an important center for life sciences and agricultural research in the world.
The student population has over 12,000 international students from over 100 countries. Hence, this makes WUR one of the best universities in the Netherlands for international students.
Wageningen University offers 19 bachelor’s and 36 master’s, and doctorate degree programs in life and social sciences. Most importantly, these academic programs lay more emphasis on research on scientific, social, and commercial problems in the field of life sciences and natural resources.
According to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Rankings, Wageningen University ranks 1st in agricultural sciences, plant and animal sciences, and environment/ecology.
8. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Another one of the Universities In The Netherlands For International Students is this. Founded in 1880, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU or VU Amsterdam) is a public research university in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
VU Amsterdam comprises several faculties that offer 50 bachelor’s, 160 master’s, and several Ph.D. programs. Most of the bachelor’s degree programs are offered in English.
As of the fall of 2015, VU offers five bachelor’s degree programs in English. These programs include Business Analytics, Computer Science, International Business Administration, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Literature and Society and Philosophy, Politics & Economics.
On the other hand, VU offers over 130 master’s degree programs fully in English. The population of international students is higher than Dutch students for some master’s degree programs. Therefore, VU is one of the best universities in the Netherlands for international students.
The Vrije Universiteit is ranked 146th in the world in the CWUR World University Rankings.
9. Radboud University Nijmegen
Radboud University (RU) is a public research university in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
RU comprises seven faculties that administer over 50 bachelor’s and 50 master’s degree programs. These faculties include humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, medical sciences, law, management, philosophy, theology & religious studies.
Fortunately, native English speakers can take classes in nine bachelor’s degree programs fully in English at the university. The programs include American Studies, Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, International Economics & Business, International Business Administration, English Language, and Culture, Philosophy, Politics and Society, and Molecular Life Sciences.
For offering world-class degrees, Radboud University comes into the list of best universities in the Netherlands for international students.
According to the 2020 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities, Radboud University is ranked 105th globally.
10. Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is a public research university in Rotterdam, the Netherlands that was founded in 1913. It has five campuses including Woudestein, Hoboken, EUC (Erasmus University College), ISS (International Institute of Social Studies), ECE (Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship).
The university has four faculties that focus on four core areas including health, wealth, governance, and culture.
The 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked EUR 1st in the Netherlands, 2nd in Europe, and 10th globally for Economics and Business. Also, the 2022 U.S. News & World Report ranks Erasmus University 1st in the Netherlands, 2nd in Europe, and 10th worldwide for Economics and Business.
You can apply to any of the universities in the Netherlands for international students to pursue any degree of your choice so as to build a profitable career.
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