Last Updated: October 24, 2021
Universities in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is known for the quality research education they provide in various fields for both domestic and international candidates. The universities in this country can be seen in the top 200 World University Rankings and the country also occupies 5th place internationally for higher education. The education system of the country helps candidates in augmenting knowledge through an organized system of upbringing and quality. The tuition for higher education especially in the public universities of the country is low when compared to other countries in Europe which is an added benefit for international students.
The degrees that are offered combine theoretical and practical levels of knowledge which helps candidates fit into the workforce as soon as they have completed their education. Most of the courses are taught in English which attracts international students. The country has over 90,000 international students with most of them from EU/EEA countries. The most popular fields of study in the country include economics, engineering, and social sciences.
Higher Education System in the Netherlands
The higher education system in the Netherlands is offered through three different types of institutions which are-
- Government-funded institutions
- Institutions by Legal Entities
- Private Sector Institutions
There are around 36 professional institutions funded by the government and 14 public universities in the country which offer programs in different fields of study. Most of the public universities have a history that dates back to even the 14th century with programs that have been adapted to fit the current educational needs of candidates. The fee structure of government-funded institutions is decided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science and is often a standard rate that is distinguished by the nationality of the candidate.
The institutions that are funded by legal entities are partially funded by the government and provide bachelor’s, master’s, and research-level degrees to candidates. Students will be able to apply for student funds and loans if they are admitted to such universities since the universities will be allowed to fix the fees by themselves.
Fully private institutions, like every other private university, offer programs that have a high tuition fee. Most of the business schools in the country are part of the private sector. These schools will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and research level programs to domestic and international candidates. The fee structure will vary according to the nationality of the candidate.
Documents and Eligibility Requirements for Universities
The documents and eligibility requirements for different universities vary from each other. Sometimes, the requirements can also change from program to program based on the university the candidate is applying to. A few of the general documents that candidates will have to submit as part of the application process include-
- Educational Transcripts
- Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of Purpose/Resume
- Proof of English Proficiency, if required
- Proof of Dutch Proficiency, if required
Top Universities in the Netherlands
While the country has plenty of universities that offer courses in different fields of study, a few of these universities stand out in the quality of education they provide. These universities are-
Delft University of Technology
This university is located in Delft and is one of the largest universities in the Netherlands. It was established in the year 1842 and has a student population of over 26,000 students along with over 3,600 academic staff. Since it is a technical university, most of the programs that are offered come under natural sciences or life sciences. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, and research-level degrees to both domestic and international candidates in both Dutch and English. They have 16 bachelor’s programs and over 40 master’s programs in fields like nanobiology, computer science, aerospace engineering, etc. with the bachelor’s programs having a duration of 3 years and the master’s program having a duration of 2 years in all.
The doctoral programs they offer are of two types including Ph.D. and PDEng where the former has a duration of 4 years and the latter has a duration of 2 years in all. Ph.D. is provided to candidates in association with the university and is more focused on theory whereas PDEng is provided in the professional field.
Erasmus University of Rotterdam
This university was established in the year 1813 and is a public research university with a student population of about 30,000 students and over 2,700 academic staff. They have seven faculties that are focused on the four areas of medicine, management, law, and culture. They offer programs at undergraduate, graduate, and research levels along with post-experience programs. The student to faculty ratio in the university is 11:1 and they offer candidates a few many scholarship options. The international student population of the university takes up about 20% of the overall student population of the university.
They offer programs in fields like philosophy, social and behavioral sciences, history, culture, communication, and management. The different schools they have are based on health, wealth, governance, and culture.
Eindhoven University of Technology
This university was established in the year 1956 and has a student population of around 11,000 students along with over 3,200 academic staff. It is a public technical university that provides bachelor’s and master’s programs to both domestic and international candidates in both Dutch and English. The bachelor’s programs they provide are in the fields of physics, mathematics, architecture, automotive technology, data science, etc. They also provide engineering programs at an undergraduate and graduate level in chemical engineering, industrial engineering, software engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.
The master’s programs they provide are in fields like artificial intelligence, data science, and entrepreneurship, embedded systems, human-technology interaction, etc. They also offer research opportunities to candidates in the fields of artificial intelligence, energy, engineering health, data science, high-tech systems, integrated physics, etc. The university also offers PDEng courses at the research level which has a duration of 2 years and targets engineering postgraduates.
This university was established in the year 1575 and is a public research university with a student population of 30,000 students and over 1,300 academic staff. They have seven faculties that contain over 50 different departments dealing with different fields of study. They offer undergraduate, graduate, and research programs in subjects like Criminology, Astronomy, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Political Science, Psychology, etc. The bachelor’s programs offered to have a duration of 3 years whereas the master’s programs have a duration of 2 years.
The research programs in this university are offered in departments like archaeology, humanities, medicine, law, social and behavioral sciences, sciences. The duration of a research program in the university is 3 years in all.
The Tilburg University was established in the year 1927 with a student population of around 20,000 students and over 1,900 academic staff. This university focuses on the fields of social and behavioral sciences along with economics and law though it offers courses in other disciplines as well. They offer bachelor’s programs and master’s programs along with professional learning courses (post-master programs) in subjects like Big Data, Tax Assurance, Accountancy, etc. The bachelor’s programs they offer have a duration of 3 years and their master’s programs have a duration of 2 years with the programs being offered in both English and Dutch.
The research program at Tilburg university focuses on topics like sustainability and society, labor market, security, culture and religion, health and well-being, etc. The duration of the research program including the presentation of defense is 3 years in all.
This public university was established in the year 1636 and is one of the oldest universities in the country with a student population of over 30,000 students and over 3,600 academic staff. The university offers bachelor’s programs, master’s programs, and professional education along with opportunities for research in different fields of study. They offer courses in fields like earth and sustainability, behavioral studies and society, health and life sciences, law, economics and governance, science and religion, and philosophy.
The Ph.D. programs offered in the university take a duration of 3 to 4 years to be completed with the availability of Ph.D. positions varying from year to year. Candidates will be able to apply for vacant positions by consulting the official website. They will also be able to submit research proposals of their own.
This is a private university that receives public funding and was established in the year 1880. The university has a student population of around 30,000 students and around 3,000 academic staff. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs along with other minor programs. They offer courses in subjects like artificial intelligence, business analytics, communication science, criminology, computer science, etc. All the programs are offered as full-time courses. While the bachelor’s programs have a duration of 3 years, the master’s programs have a duration of 1 to 2 years in all.
The research programs offered in the university are mainly on themes like health and well-being, COVID-19, Sustainability, Digital World, etc. The programs at the research level have a duration of 3 to 4 years in all.
This public university was established in the year 1876 as an agricultural college and eventually became a public research university in the year 1918. The university has a population of over 12,000 students. They offer undergraduate, graduate, and research level programs to both domestic and international candidates in subjects like animal sciences, environmental sciences, tourism, etc. The bachelor’s programs have a duration of 3 years whereas the master’s programs have a duration of 2 years in all.
Research programs in this university have a duration of 4 years in all with the first three months being dedicated to a Training and Supervision Plan. This plan is formulated by the candidate and the supervisor to suit the project idea of the candidate.
University of Amsterdam
This public university was established in the year 1632 and has a student population of over 30,000 and over 2,500 academic staff. The university has 7 faculties in all dealing with academic areas like humanities, social sciences, science, law, medicine, dentistry, etc. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, and research-level programs for both domestic and international candidates. They also offer MBAs, Executive Master’s, and other summer and winter courses.
Ph.D. programs are offered in the fields of economics and business, humanities, law, sciences, social sciences, communication science, psychology, and child development and education. The duration of doctoral programs is estimated to be 3 years which can extend based on the candidate's progress on the thesis.
The Hague University
This university was established in the year 1987 and it focuses on the field of applied sciences. The university has a student population of over 26,000 and over 2,300 academic staff. They have a total of four campuses with the main one located near the Laakhaven Canal. They offer programs at undergraduate, graduate, and research levels in subjects like European studies, international business, food technology, sports studies, security management studies, and user experience design. They also offer associate degrees in facility management and finance and control.
The research programs they offer are in the fields of cyber security, digital operations, and finance, global and inclusive learning, global governance, etc. The research level programs have a duration of 3 years or more depending on the performance of the candidate.