Netherlands Quick Facts
The Netherlands has flat geography with low land situated in Western Europe. It's densely populated and has an elected parliament. The country is one of the largest exporters of agricultural and food products.
The capital city, Amsterdam, is the cultural and educational hub of the country with over 20 well recognized educational institutions. The Netherlands offers a very active social life making it an attractive student destination.
Education System in the Netherlands
Universities in the Netherlands are majorly state-funded and can be broadly divided into two categories:
- Research Universities
- Universities of Applied Sciences
There are 14 research universities, and they offer research-intensive education. All of them are funded and accredited by the Government. The list of research universities is:
- University of Amsterdam
- VU Amsterdam
- University of Groningen
- Leiden University
- Maastricht University
- Radboud University, Nijmegen
- Erasmus University, Rotterdam
- Tilburg University
- Utrecht University
- Delft University of Technology
- Eindhoven University of Technology
- University of Twente
- Wageningen University and Research Centre
- Open University of the Netherlands
Six universities out of the list above offer a wide range of disciplines, three of them are more specialized, and three universities are dedicated to technical studies.
There are a total of 41 Universities for Applied Sciences. A few of the names are:
- Aeres University of Applied Sciences
- Amsterdam School of the Arts
- Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
- ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
- Avans Hogeschool, University of Applied Sciences
Apart from professional study programs, these institutes offer practical work experiences through internships. Around 20,000 to 40,000 students get enrolled in some of the largest universities of Applied Sciences.
Categories of Higher Education
Around 25% of all the programs offered in the Netherlands are provided in English. Higher education in the country can be broadly divided into three categories.
- Recognized public institutions: Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences are two types of public institutions. Both are recognized and offer programs that are oriented both academically and professionally.
- Recognized private institutions: Although these institutes don't receive public funding, they're allowed to offer bachelor's and master's programs after completing a particular institutional procedure.
- Unrecognized privately funded institutions: The unrecognized institutions are only allowed to offer post-graduate programs. The courses have to get initial accreditation.
The academic year begins in May/June in the Netherlands and runs until the following year. But several institutions and courses enroll students throughout the year.
Popular Destinations for Students
Delft University of Technology, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, and Leiden University are some of the names that come up when students look up for top universities in the Netherlands. Most of the country's popular colleges are located in cities like Nijmegen, Groningen, Maastricht, Leiden, and Wageningen?.
The number of Indian students heading out to study in the Netherlands rises continually with each passing year. Indian students prefer to pursue a wide variety of popular courses in the Netherlands, which includes Engineering, Space and Aviation, Art, History, Business Studies, Tourism and Hotel Management.
More than 2200 courses are taught in English, which means you've got many course options to choose from. For every course, a minimum of 55% in Class 12 is the cutoff. However, there are some Diploma courses available for students who secured around 50% in total.
Although the cutoff may seem low compared to other universities worldwide, the education standard is relatively high. Be aware of this fact and make yourself familiar with the curriculum beforehand.
The following documents are required to be submitted for enrollment:
- Class 10th and 12th mark sheets and bachelor degree (if applicable)
- TOEFL or IELTS results
- Dutch language test (Staatsexamen NT2) results if applying for courses in Dutch
- Letter of recommendation from your employer/manager if you've got professional work experience
- Letter of motivation
- Your Resume
- Your portfolio if you're applying for an art or design course.
- Supporting certificates for achievements at the state or national level.
- Copy of your passport
- Health insurance
- Proof of funds
- Photocopies of all the documents must be certified by a notary.
There are two ways in which Dutch universities accept application:
- Directly through their websites using an online application platform. Few examples are the universities of Groningen, Leiden, and Hanze UAS.
- Via an online enrollment system, Studeilink. Examples would be NHTV Breda University, The Hague University, and Inholland University.
An application fee is required for applying to every college. The cost differs depending upon the course and the college.
Language: Indian students have to prove their English proficiency by passing a TOEFL or IELTS test. You can register for such a test throughout the year, and many institutions hold these tests reasonably frequently. The test results must be recent as, generally, they are valid for two to three years.
Financial: Proof of finance is mandatory. The same can be provided through an internationally reputable bank's official letterhead or via your bank statement. If you're sponsored by, let's say, your parents, a written statement from your sponsor specifying the amount and duration of financial support must be included.
Residence Permit & Student Visa: Indian students who wish to stay in the Netherlands will require a residence permit for more than three months. The Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV), which is a collaborative effort between the sponsoring higher educational body and the student allows Indian students to apply for both the regular residence permit (VVR) and the regular provisional residence permit (MVV). Provide all the required documents in time to your school as the processing may take some time.
Accommodation and School Expense
The Netherlands is crowded, especially busy cities like Amsterdam, Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. Student-favorite cities like Leiden and Groningen always tend to suffer from room shortages. Although most universities offer temporary short-stay options, it isn't easy to find accommodation close to the university.
On average, Indian students may live off with €800 to €1,100 per month. However, the cost of living varies from city to city.
The tuition fee for attending a college in Holland may vary from about €8,000 to €16,000 per year. The fee is generally lower for EU students and higher for International students.
Cover yourself with decent health insurance. You'll find relevant insurance packages from several insurance companies such as AON, OOM, and Unirobe Meeùs.
Travel Advisory for Indian Students
The biggest international airport in Amsterdam is Schiphol Airport. The airport is very well connected by train to most of the country's biggest cities such as Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, and many more. The country's public transport system is well organized, both inter and intra cities consisting of bus, metro, train, and tram networks. The well-maintained railway network is the quickest, safest, and most economical way to travel around the country.
Buy a smart card named OV-chipkaart and use it over any public transport. You can top it up with travel credits at ticket vending machines, the transport service desk, and several supermarkets. The online door-door public transportation journey planner called 9292 provides detailed information about public transport and travel directions.
The Netherlands is a biker's paradise as it offers more than 32,000 kilometers of biking paths. Cycling is the most efficient and economical way to get around the city. And with all the city's infrastructure for bikers, such as cycle lanes, signposted cycle routes, and cycle paths, biking here is much safer than in many other countries.
Although expensive, taxis are also an option to move around the place. Permanent taxi stops are available in many cities apart from the alternative mobile app-based taxi services like Uber in major Dutch cities.
The Netherlands is one of the safest cosmopolitan cities in the entire Europe. The security and law and order situation all across the Netherlands is overall satisfactory. Never leave your bags and belongings unattended while traveling, and always carry the Indian embassy's contact details handy should you run into any problems.
Be Safe and Remain Connected
It's recommended that all Indian students in the Netherlands register themselves with the Student Registration Module of the online Consular Services Management System (MADAD) of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
The emergency service number for immediate medical attention or otherwise (police, fire services, and ambulance) is 112.
You can stay connected with other Indian students studying in the Netherlands through the web portal - http://studyinnetherlands.eu/
Apart from this, you can connect with several Indian student organizations/associations
- Indian Students Association, Delft
- Groningen Indian Students Association
- Indian Students Association Maastricht
- Indian Students Association, Wageningen University.
- Indo-Dutch Association of Eindhoven University, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven
Learn basic cooking as Indian food is expensive in Holland. Prepare yourself well ahead of time, which will help you integrate better with the university experience.