The Netherlands is a gorgeous country with a hugely positive international standing. It is also home to many top universities. Whether you’re looking into business schools, studying social sciences, or hoping to work at one of the many international companies based there, this article on the best universities in the Netherlands is for you.
Studying abroad is a fantastic way to get your degree while meeting new people and discovering a new culture. Below you’ll find a list of the best schools in the Netherlands, including the essential details about each one, the wide range of programs they offer to international students, and their undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees.
What Attracts Students to Universities in the Netherlands?
Students are attracted to universities in the Netherlands because of their substantial international population. Most of the Netherlands’ largest cities are home to universities offering a wide variety of undergraduate programs taught in the English language. The reputation of universities in the Netherlands is high among students getting their postgraduate degrees thanks to their incredible research facilities.
Students in these English-taught programs often benefit from cheap student housing, and tuition fees in the Netherlands tend to be much lower than in English-speaking countries, especially with the numerous opportunities for scholarships the country’s education institutions offer. In addition, this country is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
The Netherlands Schools Ranked: An Overview
|The Netherlands Rank||World Rank on Times Higher Education||World Rank on US News||Institution|
|1||53||80||Wageningen University & Research|
|2||65||38||University of Amsterdam|
|5||72||62||Erasmus University Rotterdam|
|6||75||174||Delft University of Technology|
|7||80||88||University of Groningen|
|8||115||84||Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam|
|10||139||107||Radboud University Nijmegen|
The Best Universities in the Netherlands, Explained
Studying in the Netherlands is an excellent way for any English undergraduate student to step out of their comfort zone and discover new places and cultures while pursuing their education. The academic reputation of institutions in this country is a guarantee that you’ll get a world-class education.
Below is a detailed list of the best universities in the Netherlands offering classes to students taught in the English language. The information listed in the details below comes directly from each university’s official website.
1. Wageningen University & Research
- Campus Location(s): Wageningen
- Acceptance Rate: All students that meet entry requirements are accepted.
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 75%, and master’s degree graduation rate is 80%
- US News Country Rank: #80
The Wageningen University & Research Center is a prestigious university that offers a wide range of degrees, including 43 online degree programs, 30 bachelor’s degrees, and 19 master’s degrees. Wageningen University is at number 80 in US News’ international rankings and is known for its international programs, housing around 2,700 international students. Its staff, students, teachers, and researchers come from over 130 countries.
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This dutch university is in Wageningen, a small town in the Netherlands. Students have access to a wide variety of sports teams and many student associations. Research is the university’s primary focus, notably on research topics such as sustainable food, climate, data, and technology.
2. University of Amsterdam
- Campus Location(s): Amsterdam
- Acceptance Rate: 4%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is around 70%
- US News Country Rank: #38
The University of Amsterdam is an international university that offers over 150 English-taught master’s programs and 20 English-taught bachelor’s programs. It’s the country’s largest university with 41,206 students, 30 percent of which are international students. It is by far the country’s most popular study destination, with plenty of notable alumni.
This excellent university, located near the city center of the Netherlands’ largest metropolitan city, conducts research alongside the country’s other academic institutions. The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ beacon of excellence when it comes to all academic disciplines at any academic level and is recognized for its supportive approach to teaching.
3. Utrecht University
- Campus Location(s): Utrecht
- Acceptance Rate: 43%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 86.79%, and master’s degree graduation rate is 97.41%
- US News Country Rank: #48
Utrecht University is a dutch university with over 35,000 students, 3,803 of which are foreign students, and is one of the largest universities in the Netherlands. They offer outstanding international education programs including 58 bachelor’s programs and 161 master’s programs. Their research department focuses on life sciences, sustainability, dynamics of youth, and institutions for open societies.
This university is renowned for its wonderful student life, offering many sports facilities, extracurricular activities, and a huge student community. There are many religious, sports, and leisure-based student organizations on campus, as well.
4. Leiden University
- Campus Location(s): Leiden and The Hague
- Acceptance Rate: 51%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor graduation rate is 80.33%, and master’s graduation rate is 96.23%
- US News Country Rank: #82
Leiden University is a well-known dutch university offering a wide range of degree programs to international students. This university’s staff, teachers, students, and researchers come from over 128 countries and promotes intercultural skills and global awareness. They have 80 master’s and 16 bachelor’s English-taught courses.
This public research university focuses on five key research topics, including health sciences, fundamentals of science, and life sciences. Leiden University boasts sixteen Nobel prize laureates.
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5. Erasmus University Rotterdam
- Campus Location(s): The Hague and Rotterdam.
- Acceptance Rate: 50%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 73.12%, and master’s degree graduation rate is 99.93%
- US News Country Rank: #62
Erasmus University Rotterdam is one of the best Dutch research universities and has four research initiatives, including the societal impact of artificial intelligence and health. 39,150 students attend this university, whose most popular bachelor’s program is in business administration.
This university has over 6000 international students and offers them 15 bachelor’s programs as well as a broad range of master’s programs which are divided into four domains. These are health, wealth, culture, and governance, law, and society.
6. Delft University of Technology
- Campus Location(s): Delft
- Acceptance Rate: 65%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 65%, and master’s graduation rate is 67%
- US News Country Rank: #174
The Delft University of Technology has 27,269 students, 23.7 percent of whom are international. The main focuses of this university are design, science, and technology. They offer a wide range of subjects to study, including 16 bachelor’s programs and over 30 master’s programs. The first dutch astronaut, Lodewijk van den Berg, attended this university.
This educational institution prides itself on its fantastic research facilities in aerospace engineering, applied science, and industrial design engineering. Students have access to many support opportunities through the university’s numerous student organizations.
7. University of Groningen
- Campus Location(s): Groningen
- Acceptance Rate: 50%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 80.07%, and master’s degree graduation rate is 83.65%
- US News Country Rank: #88
The University of Groningen has over 35,000 students, including 4,000 international students. They offer 180 master’s, bachelor’s, and PhD degree programs. Groningen University conducts research on 24 themes, including brain aging, economics, and business.
This university has shown a great commitment to improving student life for foreign students through their Supporting International Students Committee and International Student Associations for African students, Chinese students, students from European countries, and more.
8. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Campus Location(s): Amsterdam
- Acceptance Rate: 50%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 84.74%, and master’s degree graduation rate is 89.99%
- US News Country Rank: #84
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has 29,796 students enrolled, 4,183 of which are international students. This leading research university promotes value-driven research. The key themes of their research include natural sciences and governance in society.
This modern institution is home to 150 English-taught programs. Students have access to the campus square, home to many cafes, gardens, and many other spaces to relax, hold meetings, debate, and collaborate.
9. Maastricht University
- Campus Location(s): Maastricht
- Acceptance Rate: 58%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor’s degree graduation rate is 82.3%, and master’s degree graduation rate is 98.01%
- US News Country Rank: #190
Maastricht University strongly believes in problem-based learning and is known for its small-scale class sizes. There are almost 22,000 students enrolled at this university, with 55 percent of the academic community being international students.
They offer 129 different degree programs, most of which are also provided in English. These include business and economics, data science, and health sciences. Research at his university focuses on four key research themes including quality of life, learning, and innovation, Europe in a globalizing world, and sustainability and circularity.
10. Radboud University Nijmegen
- Campus Location(s): Nijmegen
- Acceptance Rate: 53%
- Graduation Rate: Bachelor graduation rate is 76%
- US News Country Rank: #107
The Radboud University Nijmegen is a fantastic research-focused university that believes in connection, curiosity, and reflection. This university is home to many innovative research facilities, cultural and social activities, sports centers, and student organizations which create an exciting student life.
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Around ten percent of the students at this university are from other countries. They offer 14 bachelor’s degrees and a wide range of master’s degree programs to international students. This university encourages diversity, and female lecturers make up around 30 percent of its teaching staff.
How We Created Our List of the Best Schools in the Netherlands
In order to create our list, we followed the Times Higher Education 2022 World University Rankings, which were created by evaluating the teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry outcomes of over 1,600 institutions from around the world. Complementary information was retrieved from the US News Best National University Rankings.
Is a Top University in the Netherlands Right for You?
Yes. If you want to pursue your higher education in a new country and culture, then one of the leading schools in the Netherlands could be perfect for you. The universities in this article offer many fantastic English-taught degree programs that can help you pursue your dream job.
If you feel like a university is not suitable for you, you could enroll in one of the best coding bootcamps in Amsterdam. Bootcamps are intensive short-term programs offered both in person or online. A search on the Internet will help you find bootcamps in the Netherlands, such as Le Wagon’s Destination Bootcamp in Amsterdam.
Best Universities in the Netherlands FAQ
Yes, many universities offer scholarships to all of their students. Student loans are also available through national and private organizations in the Netherlands. Before applying for financial aid, read all the requirements and eligibility criteria.
Yes, most universities in the Netherlands have excellent resources and guides on how to get a visa and residence permit for your study abroad. Some universities will also help you process your visa and residence permit.
According to Times Higher Education, the average cost of studying in the Netherlands for students in the European Union (EU) is between $1,110 and $2,220. It can cost students from outside the EU up to $16,600 per year on average. This price does not include living expenses.
According to Leiden University, a student’s average monthly cost of living is between $1,075 and $1,500. This includes things like rent, groceries, clothing, entertainment, travel, and health insurance. The amounts listed are excluding tuition fees.
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