Masters Fees and Funding in the Netherlands - 2023|
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Masters Fees and Funding in the Netherlands

Written by Mark Bennett

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 guide to postgraduate study in the Netherlands. You can also use our course search to get started finding your ideal Masters in the Netherlands.

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The cost of a Masters in the Netherlands

Most 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’. This is currently fixed at €2,530 per year for most full-time courses. Part-time students pay a proportion of the full cost, 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 Suriname (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).

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 €75-100). This is more likely for international students (those who are not entitled to pay fees at the statutory rate).

If you’re entitled to receive healthcare through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and you don’t work or take up a paid internship during your studies, you won’t need any additional health insurance in the Netherlands.

However, you will have to take out a health insurance policy if you’re not eligible for the EHIC or if you’re undertaking paid work in the Netherlands. This can be Dutch public health insurance (zorgverzekering) or a private insurance policy. For more information, please visit the Study in Holland website.

Cost of living for Masters students in the Netherlands

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

Read more about living in the Netherlands as a Masters student.

Masters funding for Dutch students

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

Grants and loans for Dutch Masters students

Dutch students are entitled to apply for student finance. This provides up to €1,410.79 per month to students paying the statutory tuition rate (if a student is paying fees set by their institution, they will be able to borrow a higher amount, depending on how high their fees are). This amount is comprised of three elements: a regular loan, a supplementary grant (dependent on your financial circumstances) and a tuition fee loan. If you minus the cost of tuition, the monthly income totals around €800 for rent and living costs.

The repayment period is 35 years, with rates linked to minimum income thresholds.

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

Masters study in the Netherlands

Want to know more about life for international students in the Netherlands? Our detailed guide to Masters study in the Netherlands covers everything from universities and courses to applications and visas.

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 a Dutch university.

Loans for international students in the Netherlands

Under certain circumstances, international Masters students may be eligible for student finance 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 the 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 44 institutions – research universities and universities of applied science – currently participating.
  • Middle East and North Africa Scholarship Programme (MSP) – MSP funding helps support education for professionals in 10 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 India and Indonesia 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, while 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 Study in Holland's scholarship database 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. The programme also offers its own 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!

Search for a Masters in the Netherlands

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Last updated: 04 December 2023