About Netherlands

The Netherlands or Holland has become one of the most popular countries in Europe for international students, with some of the world’s finest universities, a modern approach to education and a welcoming environment. Many people think that “Holland” and “Netherlands” mean the same thing. Even within the country, you may hear locals saying “Holland” when referring to the whole country. Technically, however, that is not correct. The country as a whole is called the Netherlands. It consists of twelve provinces; two of these provinces make up the Holland region, split into North and South Holland (Noord- and Zuid-Holland, respectively).

The Netherlands is considered to be one of the most industrialized and innovative countries with 13 globally –ranked universities and having produced 12 Nobel Laureates. About 90% of its locals speak in English, making it a comfortable and stable destination for international students.

Education System

In Europe, the Netherlands was very early to adopt the Bachelor/Master system and offer degree programmes in English. This has led to one of the largest selections of courses on the continent. You can choose between plenty of Bachelors and Master Degrees at around 70 institutions of higher education.

You can also expect a large community of international students: More than 112,000 students from around the world. Around 16% of all students come from abroad - one of the highest ratios anywhere in Europe.

As in other European countries, universities in Holland are commonly classified as either “research universities”, offering more research-oriented academic programmes, or “universities of applied sciences”, offering more practice-oriented study programmes.

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Large Cities

Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Groningen and Almere Stad

Area Size

41,865 km²


Dutch, English, Papiamentu and West Frisian


17,424,978 (As of 2019)


Euro (€) (EUR) and US dollar ($, USD)


14 research universities and 41 universities of applied sciences

International Students

85,955 (As of 2019)

Engineering, Social Sciences and Environmental Science and Agriculture are the top-recommended courses to study in Netherlands/Holland. Apart from these, various other UG and PG courses which are gaining more popularity among students are Construction, Health, Law, Linguistics, Natural Sciences and IT
The approximate cost of education and living vary from €19,000 to € 25,000 per year depending on the program, university and location
The Dutch government is attempting to make Dutch higher education as accessible as possible to students and mid-career professionals from other countries. In Holland, higher education is subsidized, which means that tuition fees can be kept relatively low, especially compared with the United Kingdom and the United States.
Intake Remark
September Offered by all Universities, Institute of Technology and Private Colleges
February Offered by selected Universities, Institute of Technology and Private Colleges

Living Standards

A foreign trade and export-oriented nation for centuries, the Netherlands was at the forefront of European integration after World War II. The country considers internationalization vital for nurturing an outward-looking and intercultural competent citizenry and for strengthening the country’s status as a knowledge economy.

The Netherlands has in recent years intensified its international recruitment efforts. One recent example was the so-called “Make it in the Netherlands” initiative, launched in 2014 as a collaborative effort by the Dutch government, companies, and universities to “retain talented international students for the Dutch job market” and “facilitate the transition from study to work for international students” with measures like language training, cultural immersion programs, and the streamlining of visa procedures. This openness to immigration and the availability of post-study work opportunities have helped fuel a drastic increase in international student inflows: The number of international students enrolled at Dutch research universities alone has risen by 332 percent over the past 12 years.


  • Well-taught and quality programs for cheap
  • An open-minded country that welcomes international students
  • The world leader in technical courses
  • Cheap student housing



Degree Duration of Degree Post Study Work Visa
Bachelor’s 3-4 years 1 year
Master’s 2 years 1 year


Foreign nationals who have been living in Netherlands with a type of work authorization for five years become eligible for the Netherlands Permanent Residence Permit. Foreign nationals who receive Irish permanent residency will get a residence permit as long-term resident EC, and is renewable.
Additionally, if you wish to work in the Netherlands as an independent entrepreneur, you need a residence permit for this. The essential interest is assessed on the basis of a scoring system. The scoring system consists of 3 parts:
  • Personal experience (education, entrepreneurship, work experience)
  • Business plan (market analysis, product/service, price, organization, financing).
  • Added value for the Netherlands (innovation, employment creation, investments).