Admission Process for International Students in Netherlands/Holland

To be accepted into a higher educational study course in Holland, students must go through the educational institution which is providing the course. Each institution provides detailed information about the procedure to be followed for applying to a programme of their choice. For bachelor’s degree programmes, students must attain at least a secondary school diploma at the concerned level. Master’s degree courses can be accessed only following the attainment of the bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. 

Admission Procedure for International Students in Holland

Each educational institution follows its own admission procedure for entry into bachelor’s degree courses plus other higher studies in the country. Important and popular fields have pre-established quotas and some study programmes have restricted number of seats. Each institution determines its own admission processes and policies within a broad general framework. Students must also have basic qualifications for entry into a particular higher educational course. Nuffic is the Dutch organisation which determines the equivalence of the qualifications of international students for entry into a specific course of higher education in Holland.

Standard Exams for Admission into Higher Educational Institutions in The Netherlands

The most important exams are TOEFL and  IELTS  for assessing language proficiency. Apart from this, certain educational institutions also accept CAE or Cambridge Advanced Education exams scores. For entry into English medium courses taught at Dutch educational institutions, demonstration of proficiency in the language is a must. For Dutch medium programmes, students must have passed the Dutch NLF2 examination.

Students must also be able to read and write as well as communicate in English for admission to higher education in the Netherlands. Language requirements for each test can also be found in the official data base of international study courses which can be accessed at Study in Holland, the official student portal of the Netherlands.

Students may also be required to undertake extra preparation to meet the conditions for a certain course. This preparatory year of education may be followed for enabling students to meet important educational requirements. Once the Dutch higher education has provided a conditional letter of acceptance, immigration law permits students to reach and study in Holland for a minimum of 1 year. Following completion of preparatory studies, an exam must be passed and then the conditional letter of acceptance becomes a definite one.   

Admission Calendar and Application Deadlines 

Application deadlines differ from one university to another. The academic term begins in September for most educational institutions. EU students may apply later, but non EU students should apply 2 to 3 months in advance as they have to get the documentation, insurances and finances in order. Certain Dutch universities offer study programmes which have limited number of seats. In such cases the admission may close down well before the application deadline if the limit is reached. Application deadlines differ depending upon whether students are attending universities of applied sciences, research universities, university colleges or B-schools.    


The admission procedure for Dutch higher education is extremely well organised. Apart from a systematic process of admission and application, students can also avail of any financing scholarships. In some cases, students may be required to complete preparatory studies before pursuing the course. 
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