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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Netherlands: Tuition fees & cost of living

 Van Gogh, windmills, frozen canals – what comes to your mind when thinking of the Netherlands? The Netherlands (or colloquially: Holland) is popular among international students not only because of its culture and lifestyle: For a small country, it has an impressive number of universities in the top 200 worldwide, and a large share of the available Bachelors and Masters are taught in English.

Tuition fees in the Netherlands are also cheaper than in English-speaking destinations such as the UK. There are notable differences between European and non-European students, and many important details.Read on to find out how much studying and living in the Netherlands costs:

💸 How much does it cost to study in the Netherlands?

Studying for a degree in the Netherlands is more affordable than in other destinations, such as the UK, but at the same time it is more expensive than in other European countries such as Germany or Belgium.

Tuition fees in Holland fall into two groups:

  1. Dutch students and students from other EU/EEA countries as well as Suriname generally pay the “statutory tuition fees” which are lower. This fee level is set by the Dutch government and the same at every university.
  2. All other international students generally have to pay the “institutional tuition fees”, and these tend to be higher.

Universities are also divided into two groups: research universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). The fee levels are the same for local/European students, but for internationals, universities of applied science tend to be cheaper than research universities. Also worth noting: The better a university ranks in global rankings, the more expensive it tends to be.

Overview of tuition fees at some of the most popular universities in the Netherlands:

UniversityBachelor tuition fees per yearMaster tuition fees per year
Breda University of Applied Sciences

EU/EEA: €2,530 

Other internationals: ca. €13,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €15,000
Delft University of Technology

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €16,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €22,000
Eindhoven University of Technology

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €13,000

EU/EEA: €2,530 

Other internationals: €19,000
Erasmus University Rotterdam

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €10-14,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €16-22,000
Fontys University of Applied Sciences

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €12,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €8-12,000
Hanze University of Applied Sciences

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €9,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €9-10,000
Leiden University

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €13-17,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €13-17,000
Radboud University

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €12-15,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €14-17,000
Saxion University of Applied Sciences

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €9,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €10-12,000
University of Groningen

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €11-16,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €16-21,000
University of Twente

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €10-15,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €14-17,000
Utrecht University

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €12-16,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €20-23,000
UvA University of Amsterdam

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €10-13,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €14-20,000
VU University Amsterdam

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €9-12,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: €15,000
Wageningen University & Research

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €17,000

EU/EEA: €2,530

Other internationals: ca. €20,000

Note that the table shows a typical range of tuition fees for international students, but some degrees, such as Medicine or Dentistry, can be much more expensive – sometimes more than €30,000 a year.

Tuition fees for part-time studies tend to be lower, but not proportionally. For example, the statutory fee is a little more than two thirds of the full-time rate.

Find Bachelors & Masters in the Netherlands

🌍 What are the differences for European and non-European students?

European students generally pay lower tuition fees in the Netherlands than other, non-European international students.

More specifically, students from the EU/EEA, Switzerland and Suriname pay the so-called statutory tuition fees which are set by the Dutch government. This amount is slightly over €2,500 per year for full-time studies and is adjusted regularly for inflation.

All other international students generally pay the institutional tuition fees that every university can set for their own programmes. These can range between €6,000 and €20,000 per year depending on the institution and whether it’s a Bachelor or Master.

🤔 Can you study in the Netherlands for free?

In general, there are no tuition-free options. The best way to study in the Netherlands for free is to obtain a scholarship. There are various scholarship options for international students, with some excellent opportunities for non-EEA students.

💰 Scholarships for international students in the Netherlands

An excellent way to finance your studies in the Netherlands is to apply for a scholarship.

There are several scholarship opportunities available to international students, including non-EEA students. Some of the scholarship schemes available are offered directly by universities, others by organisations such as Nuffic.

Here are some scholarships that are available for international students:

  • NL Scholarship (formerly Holland Scholarship): For non-EEA students, this scholarship programme offers a one-off payment of €5,000 to students applying for a full-time bachelor’s at an institution participating in the scheme.
  • Cultural Heritage Scholarship Programme: This programme is for Master students from a group of countries (Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Suriname) who are studying a programme related to their cultural heritage.

Universities offer other scholarships directly, such as the Amsterdam Merit Scholarship for non-EEA master’s students at the University of Amsterdam, or the University of Twente Scholarship available to outstanding Master’s students enrolled at the institution.

EEA and Swiss students can also be eligible to apply for loans under certain circumstances - most notably if they have stayed in the Netherlands for a longer period before the start of their studies.

Study in the Netherlands: Find Bachelors & Masters now

💪 Can I work while studying at university in the Netherlands?

A part-time job can be a good way to finance your studies, especially since tuition fees in the Netherlands can be quite expensive for non-European students.

EEA and Swiss students don’t need a work permit and don’t have limits on the hours they can work while studying.

Other international students instead will need a work permit and can only work either no more than 10 hours a week throughout the year, or full-time in June, July and August – but not both. Employers need to apply for the permit at least five weeks before the start of the employment.

You don’t need a work permit for an internship that is part of your study programme – however, you, your institution, and your employer will have to sign an internship agreement.

English is spoken very widely, and it shouldn’t be difficult to find a job at first even if you don’t speak Dutch – however, you should consider studying it! Learning the language will make your experience more enriching and enjoyable, and it will, of course, help you find a job more easily.

⌛ Timing: When do you have to pay the tuition fee as a student in the Netherlands?

Students in the Netherlands have two options when it comes to paying their tuition fees:

  1. in one go before the beginning of the academic year, or
  2. in five to ten instalments via direct debit.

The option to pay tuition fees in instalments via direct debit is generally only available to students who have a bank account in the Netherlands or in a country belonging to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Also, this payment method may not always be available to international students who need a visa or residence permit.

If you are eligible for the payment-by-instalments method, make a note of your payment schedule to ensure you always have enough money in your account. Tuition fee payments and university applications in the Netherlands are generally managed via the Studielink platform.

🏛️ Are there application fees at Dutch universities?

Sometimes, there are application fees to be paid when applying to Dutch universities, usually ranging from €75 to €100.

These fees are also called handling fees, and they are most commonly charged to non-EEA students or students with a non-Dutch previous education. Fees and conditions vary on a case-by-case basis – for example, some universities only charge an application fee for master’s programmes or for English-taught courses. It is always best to check with your chosen Dutch university.

Some universities also offer a total or partial refund of the handling fee if the student receives an offer and ultimately enrols at the institution.

💳 What are the monthly costs of living in the Netherlands?

In general, the monthly cost of living in the Netherlands for an international student will be around €800-1200. An average room will cost between €400 and €700, but keep in mind that small towns will generally be cheaper than cities and that the type of accommodation will also have an impact on the price. Living in the Netherlands can get quite expensive, especially in Amsterdam or in other big cities.

Here is an overview of the accommodation and general living monthly expenses in some of the main cities in the Netherlands. (Please note, these expenses exclude tuition fees.)

  • Amsterdam: Accommodation will be between €450 and €850 per month, and general living expenses around €450/€550;
  • Groningen: Between €400 and €700 per month for accommodation, plus around €400 to €450 for general living expenses;
  • Nijmegen: €400 to €500 for accommodation, €350 to €450 for living expenses;
  • Rotterdam: Closer to Amsterdam prices, with accommodation ranging from €450 to €800, and general cost of living between €400 to €500;
  • Leiden: Same range as Rotterdam and Amsterdam - €400 to €750 for accommodation, €400 to €500 for general living expenses.

Top tip: Get a bike! You’ll save money, and it will also make fitting in a lot easier. You’ll quickly notice that the Dutch cycle everywhere!

🏆 How high are the tuition fees at the best Dutch universities?

There are around a dozen Dutch universities in the top 200 worldwide. For students from the EU/EEA, Switzerland or Suriname, the fees at these top universities are the same statutory fees they would pay anywhere in the Netherlands.

However, other international students pay the institutional fees set by universities, and these may vary. Some of the best-ranked universities in the Netherlands charge up to €15,000 per year for Bachelors, and up to €20,000 per year for Masters.

But the more significant difference exists between the traditional research universities and the universities of applied sciences (UAS): At a UAS, fees for international students can start at €7-8,000 and rarely exceed €10,000.

 

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