Scholarships for international students to study in Netherlands

Located in Western Europe and bordered by Germany and Belgium, the Netherlands is the home country of renowned scientists and inventors. The country provides a world-class education and has produced in its universities many graduates in various research fields and subjects. International students who wish to get a degree at this hot study abroad destination have to pay a tuition fee, regardless of their nationality. This ranges between €2,000 to up to €20,000 per year at Dutch public universities. The good news is there are many scholarship opportunities international students can apply for to fund their studies. We’ll take a look at the main scholarships in the Netherlands for international students. 

Read here our article on the study and living cost for students in the Netherlands.

Netherlands government scholarship programs

There are two ways international students can get a scholarship to study in the Netherlands. They can be either government funded programs or merit-based scholarships offered by Dutch universities. The best scholarship openings from the Dutch government include: 

Holland Scholarship

This scholarship is funded by the Dutch ministry of education, culture and science. It’s a program which targets international students from outside the EEA who want to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s at universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. You can find a list of these institutions on the scholarship’s official website. 

Usually, the application deadlines fall either in February or May every year. The funding amounts to €5,000, but this is not a full-tuition scholarship. This is for the first year of your studies and is not renewable. The main requirements to get the Holland scholarship is for the applicant to be from a non-EEA country, applying for a full-time master’s or bachelor’s. Moreover, you must never have studied in the Netherlands before. 

Learn more about the Holland Scholarship 

Orange Knowledge Program (OKP)

Previously called the Netherlands Fellowship Program, the Orange Knowledge Program is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its purpose is to promote the training and education of mid-career professionals from 51 countries. Moreover, you can find the names of the countries on the program’s official website. 

The OKP funding covers the cost of living, tuition fees, visa, travel, insurance costs of the applicant. The program is available for a selection of short courses of 2 weeks to 12 months and master’s programs of 12 to 24 months. Moreover, this scholarship is annual and the application rounds deadlines take place each year: 

  • At the end of March for sessions taking place at the end of summer and in fall
  • At the end of June for short courses between November to February of the following year
  • Mid-October for short courses starting from Spring.

Learn more about the OKP scholarship.

Netherlands universities scholarships for international students

The other option for international students to get a scholarship is to apply to university funding. Note also that these university scholarships are annual ones, and you must take note of the deadlines of each program and apply on time. Here are some of the best university scholarships to check out in the Netherlands.

Read also our list of the best universities in the Netherlands for international students. 

Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme (LExS)

Outstanding international students who want to join a full-time master’s degree program at Leiden University can apply for this scholarship. They can apply under the condition that they have achieved excellent results in their previous education. 

The number of awards depends on the available budget of each faculty. Moreover, the program offers 3 types of grants: €10,000 of the tuition fee, an amount of €15,000 of the tuition fee, and the total fee minus the statutory tuition fee.

Learn more about the LExS scholarship

Scholarship from the University of Twente (UTS)

The University of Twente Scholarship is a program for outstanding students from non-EU/EEA countries who apply for a master’s degree at the university of Twente. With a value of €3,000 to €22,000 per year, the program grants about 50 scholarships to compensate for study-related costs. Moreover, the scholarship doesn’t mean to cover the student’s tuition fees, but it’s up to them to decide how they would spend the money. 

Students who apply for a two-year program are eligible for a second UTS equal to the amount they received on their first year. The requirement is for them to get an average grade of 7 out of 10 and at least 50% of European Credits at the end of the third quartile of the first year. 

You can check out the other requirements and deadlines on the website of the University of Twente.

Radboud University’s scholarship for international students

This is another highly selective scholarship program to talented students with outstanding academic results. The scholarship targets non-EEA students who wish to complete an English-taught degree program at Radboud University. There are 26 grants available each year, to students across 6 faculties of the university who will then have their tuition fee of the current year (no matter the amount) to €2,314.

Moreover, these scholarships also cover visa, residence permit, health insurance and liability insurance costs for their stay in the Netherlands. Lastly, the deadline to apply for this scholarship is on February 28 every year. 

Learn more on the university’s website.

Scholarships from Utrecht University for international students in the Netherlands

Utrecht University is another high profile university in the Netherlands that grants scholarships based on excellency for the students. The Utrecht Excellence Scholarship (UES) aims only to non-EEA international students who have completed their high school years and bachelor’s degree outside the Netherlands. 

Moreover, to be able to apply, students must have applied for a master’s degree program that starts in September of the current year. They must then apply for this scholarship by the end of January of this year. Furthermore, the grant covers the tuition fee or the tuition fee plus the income required for 1 year. Lastly, the scholarship is renewable for students of 2-year master’s programs. 

Learn how to apply for this scholarship on the program’s website

VU Amsterdam Fellowship program for international students (VUFP)

This funding targets international students holders of a non-EU/EEA passport who are not eligible for the lower tuition fee at VU Amsterdam. Moreover, only students with excellent academic results can apply (GPA equivalent to 8 at Dutch universities). Other requirements include students enrolled in a full-time master’s program in English, which exclude joint programs students. 

This scholarship covers only the tuition fees without any additional stipend for the living and study costs in the Netherlands. However, candidates can apply at the same time for the Holland Scholarship with no need of a separate application. 

Learn about the other requirements, deadlines and other details about this scholarship

Justus & Louise van Effen Excellence Scholarships at TU Delft

The Delft University of Technology offers several scholarships to international students based on merit. This includes the Justus & Louise van Effen program which is available for 2 to 3 students per faculty, to study for a master’s degree at TU Delft. Moreover, the scholarship requires the students to have at least 80% GPA and a bachelor’s degree earned outside the Netherlands. 

The deadline for application usually falls in December of each year. The scholarship covers the student’s full tuition fees plus a contribution for the living costs.

Learn more about the scholarship and other details on the website of TU Delft.

How can I get a scholarship in Netherlands?

Despite the excellency criterion on most of these scholarships, more than 50% of those who apply for a scholarship in the Netherlands are successful. Moreover, it’s important to bear in mind that there are low and high values scholarships, based on the region or home country of the applicant.

And for those who can’t get a scholarship from their university, the Dutch government provides a lot of attractive funding programs for international students with simple requirements. Those we listed in this article are just a few of them. 

To get a scholarship to study in the Netherlands, here are the steps to follow: 

Prepare for the paperwork

This starts by preparing an academic portfolio that will help grab the attention of the reviewers of your application. The necessary documents usually include your: 

  • Academic records transcripts
  • Proof of your proficiency in the English language: a IELTS score of at least 6.5 
  • Resume or CV
  • Proof you have extracurricular gifted achievements (in sports, music, dissertations, …) 

Choose the scholarship program and university that suit your academic and career goals. For that, take the time to browse the universities’ websites to get all the details you need. 

Complete and submit your application as early as possible to increase your chances to get the scholarship.

Learn also how to apply to universities in the Netherlands.

About Herilalao

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