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Masters Fees and Funding in the Netherlands

Dutch universities have a proud legacy of supporting access to higher education and welcoming international students. This is reflected in the wide range of funding available for Masters in the Netherlands.

On this page you can learn about fees and funding for Masters degrees in the Netherlands. This includes a guide to the cost of studying a Dutch Masters degree as well as an overview of the different types of funding available to Dutch students and international postgraduates.

For more general advice on postgraduate study in the Netherlands, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also use our course search to get started finding your ideal Masters in the Netherlands.

Masters fees in the Netherlands

The majority of Dutch Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences (hogescholen) are public institutions, with tuition fees regulated by the Dutch government. This helps ensure that studying a Masters degree in the Netherlands is affordable for large numbers of students.

Fees for Dutch students in the Netherlands

Dutch students pay Masters tuition fees at the government’s ‘statutory rate’. From 2015 this is fixed at €1,951 per year for full-time programmes. Part-time students pay a proportion of this, depending on the intensity of their programme.

The statutory fee only applies to the first degree a student takes at each level of study. If you already have a Masters degree, fees for a second or subsequent Masters qualification will be charged at a rate set freely by your institution. This does not apply to second qualifications in health or education disciplines.

Fees for international students in the Netherlands

Masters fees for international students at Dutch universities vary depending on nationality. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you will pay the same statutory fees as a Dutch student. This also applies to citizens of Surinam (a former Dutch country).

Other international student fees in the Netherlands are set freely by universities. This usually makes them more expensive, with average fees between €8,000 and €20,000 per year (depending on the institution and course in question).

Are there any other costs for Masters students in the Netherlands?

You may have to pay some supplementary costs as a Masters student in the Netherlands. These vary depending on your circumstances, but are not substantial.

In some cases you will be charged an application fee for your Masters (usually between €50-100). This is more likely for international students (those who are not entitled to pay fees at the statutory rate).

You may also be required to purchase health insurance as a Masters student in the Netherlands. This will not apply if you are under 30 and not working alongside your studies. Otherwise you will need to either purchase Dutch Public Health Insurance, or confirm coverage via a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or similar reciprocal scheme. More information is available at the official Nuffic website.

Cost of living for Masters students in the Netherlands

The cost of living for students in the Netherlands is relatively low when compared to other popular destinations for postgraduate study abroad. The Dutch government calculates an average student expenditure of between €800 and €1,100 a month, including accommodation.

You can read more about living in the Netherlands as a Masters student in our guide.

Masters funding for Dutch students

Dutch postgraduates have access to generous financial support when studying in their home country. This includes a system of statutory grants, as well as student loans.

Grants for Dutch Masters students

Full-time Dutch students under 30 have historically received government grants to assist them with the costs of university study. Until the 2014-15 academic year these were paid monthly at a statutory rate between €100.25 and €279.14. Supplementary grants were also available on a means-tested basis.

From 2015-16, statutory grants for Dutch students will be phased out in favour of student loans (see below). Supplementary grants will still be available for students under 30 whose parents’ income is below a certain threshold.

Loans for Dutch Masters students

Dutch students are also entitled to take out student loans, instead of, or alongside, grants. From 2015-16 these will be revised, following the phasing out statutory grants (students entitled to supplementary grants may still receive these on a means-tested basis).

The new Dutch student loans will provide €1,016 per month to students paying the statutory tuition rate (and €1,667 per month to students paying fees set by their institution).

Repayment periods will be extended from 15 to 35 years, with rates linked to minimum income thresholds.

You can read more about the new student loans in the Netherlands at the website of the Dutch Ministry of Education Culture and Science.

Masters funding for international students

The Netherlands has always been a popular international study destination, with a range of funding opportunities available to foreign postgraduates. These include some of the support systems offered to domestic students as well as a range of scholarships and support packages designed specifically for students studying a Masters abroad at Dutch universities.

Loans for international students in the Netherlands

Under certain circumstances, international Masters students may be eligible for student loans on the same terms as Dutch citizens.

To be eligible you must be an EU, EEA or Swiss national, be under 30 and fulfil one of the following residency criteria:

  • Have lived in the Netherlands for at least five years; or
  • Be working in the Netherlands for at least 56 hours per month; or
  • Be the child or spouse of someone working in the Netherlands for at least 56 hours per month

International Masters Funding offered or administered by the Dutch government

The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provide various forms of funding for international students to study Masters degrees at universities in the Netherlands. Most take the form of scholarships directed at students from particular regions or backgrounds.

They include the following programmes:

  • Holland Scholarships – Holland Scholarships provide up to €5,000 of funding for full-time Masters students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). They are offered at specific Dutch universities, with 48 institutions currently participating.
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programmes – The Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) offers funding for professional Masters programmes to students from 51 participating countries. Currently, 50% of available funding is targeted at female applicants and 50% is targeted at applicants from sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Middle East and North Africa Scholarship Programme (MSP) – MSP funding helps support education for professionals in ten target countries to study in the Netherlands. This can include support for Masters programmes.
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship Programmes – A range of Orange Tulip Scholarship programmes are offered for international students in Holland. Individual schemes operate for students in Brazil, China, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico and Russia, with support for Masters programmes available.

Scholarships from Dutch universities

Most Dutch universities also offer their own funding, including scholarships for Masters programmes. Some awards will be specifically designed to attract and support international students, whilst others will be offered to all postgraduate applicants.

Comparing Masters funding from Dutch universities can be complicated, with a wide range and variety of awards on offer.

One of the best ways to get around this difficulty is to use our search engine to find your ideal Dutch Masters programme and then inquire about funding using the contact details provided.

You can also use the grantfinder tool provided at the Nuffic website, which allows students to search a range of funding opportunities in the Netherlands.

Erasmus+ Masters funding in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of several countries participating the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme.

Erasmus+ funding provides support for postgraduate study abroad, including full Joint Masters Degrees (offered by partnerships of international universities) as well as temporary periods of study exchange and mobility. From 2015 the programme will also begin offering Masters Loans in participating countries.

The Netherlands is a particularly appropriate study destination for Erasmus+ students, being the home of the programme’s namesake: Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus was a Dutch renaissance scholar whose studies took him across international borders – an example followed by today’s Erasmus+ Masters students!

You can read more about Erasmus+ funding opportunities in our detailed guide.

Search for Masters funding in the Netherlands

Of course, there are more opportunities for postgraduate funding in the Netherlands than we can list on one page. So we’ve listed hundreds of them on our dedicated postgraduate funding website, instead!

It’s called PostgraduateFunding.com – you’ll see why. You can use it to search for a wide range of Masters funding opportunities in the Netherlands (or elsewhere), including travel grants, charitable bursaries, university scholarships and more. Why not take a look and see what you find?

FindAMasters scholarships in the Netherlands

Hopefully the information on this page has helped answer your questions about the cost of studying a Masters degree in the Netherlands - and given you a few good ideas for funding opportunities! Don't forget though that you can also apply for one of our own FindAMasters scholarships to help fund your postgraduate study at home or abroad.

This year we're giving away one £5,000 scholarship and four £500 scholarships to new students at any university listed on FindAMasters.com. So, if you've found a great Dutch Masters degree on our site, why not register for news about our scholarships? We'll be in touch when it's time for your application!

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