Admission Requirements for Higher Educational Institutions in Netherlands

In the year 2012-2013, Holland received about 90,500 students from across the globe for higher studies, according to Study in Holland. In programmes/courses sponsored by the government, there were 43,500 students from EU nations and EFTA countries (this includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.) 

Around 20,350 students from countries other than EU and EFTA were also admitted to the Dutch higher educational institutions, 9,600 students arrived in Holland via the Erasmus programme or an internship cum resident permit arrangement and 17,050 students enrolled in other programmes or courses. Some of these followed only a part of the programme to gain credits for home studies.

International students in the Netherlands for this year were 26,050 from Germany, 6,400 from China, 2,900 from Belgium and 2,450 from Spain. Around 2,300 were from France.

For admission in a programme of higher education in the Netherlands, students must contact the educational institution which is offering the programme. The institution in question can guide you regarding admission requirements to follow and apply for a programme of your selection. Admission to a Bachelor’s degree programme is possible following the attainment of secondary school diploma at the appropriate level. 

The interests of International students in Netherlands are continuously growing due to world class value education, 

Admission Criteria for Dutch Higher Educational Institutions

The level set by the institution is also the determinant for the admissions criteria for the Bachelor’s programme. Certain popular fields are especially important and so quotas are pre-established for these. Some study programmes such as those in the arts for instance, require the institution to set their own requirements too.

For entry into Master’s degree programme, students must have an equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or an undergraduate degree. The Nuffic website provides students the chance to see if their diploma meets requirements for entry into certain programmes.

Facts about Admission Requirements in the Netherlands

Admission Requirements in Holland
Students must be able to read, speak and write English well for admission to courses in the Netherlands. While IELTS and TOEFL are generally the most commonly accepted measures of proficiency in the English language, there are other tests as well. Required scores are at least 550 for the paper based test and 213 for the computer based test for the TOEFL. In case the IELTS is being used for the admission application, a minimum score of 6 is needed for this test. Language requirements of the tests can be found in the database of international study programmes.

In some cases, students may also have to take extra preparation to be eligible for a particular course. The preparatory year of education must be taken in such cases to equip student to meet certain requirements. Mechanism for the preparatory year is as follows. After the Dutch higher education admitting you has provided a conditional letter of acceptance, Dutch immigration law enable students to come to the Netherlands for a maximum of one year before the studies to follow the preparatory courses and pass the exams of the particular institution. Once the exam has been passed, the conditional letter of admission changes to a definite one. 


Dutch higher education is very well organised and systematic. Admission requirements in the Netherlands are designed to provide educational institutions with plenty of freedom in choosing the right students they want for courses. With a structured admissions process, this country’s educational system is extremely well formulated.
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