Universities in the Netherlands: Top Courses, Top Universities, International Enrolments

The Netherlands has some of the best universities in the world. 13 out the these universities rank among the top 200 of Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The universities offer specialisation in two fields - research and professional.

There are a total of 58 universities in the Netherlands. All the universities are publicly funded except Nyenrode Business University. Besides these, there are 4 other institutes for international education. Webster University Leiden, a branch of Webster University in the US, is the only other private university, besides NBU, in the Netherlands.

Some universities in the Netherlands have triple accreditation which places them among the top 1% of the world’s universities. The country specialises in engineering and management programs and has total international population of 122,000 as of 2017.

Over 2100 courses are offered in total in the universities in the Netherlands in both English and Dutch. The Netherlands is the only non-English speaking nation that offers the highest number of programs in English

Programs Offered by Universities in the Netherlands

Netherlands is renowned for its technological innovations, the curriculums of the programs offered in the Dutch universities are designed keeping the same image in mind. The programs offered are fairly advanced and are only meant for the best of the minds.

A total of 1874 programs are offered in language other than Dutch across 58 universities in the Netherlands. Out of these, 1866 are offered in English. A few programs are offered in French, German and Italian as well.

More than 300 undergraduate programs are offered in English while all the graduate programs are offered in English. These programs are offered in the following fields of study/

Field of StudyResearch universities full-time International EnrollmentsUniversities of Applied Science full-time International Enrollments
Economics and Business15,55611,380
Engineering5,5457,303
Human & Social Sciences2,4949,104
Art and Health Care5,2664,288
Science2,1062,728
Liberal Arts and Science683,595
Agriculture and Environmental Science8082,500
Law-3,171
Education1,592107

Duration of Programs

In Research Universities:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): 3 years
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc): 3 years
  • Master of Arts (MA): 1-3 years
  • Master of Science (MSc): 1-3 years
  • Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng): 2 years
  • PhD: 4 years
  • LLB: 3 years
  • LLM: 1 year

In Universities of Applied Sciences:

  • Associate (Ad): 2 years
  • Bachelor (B) of [field of study]: 4 years
  • Master (M) of [field of study]: 1-4 years
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc): 4 years
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): 4 years
  • Master of Science (MSc): 1-2 years
  • Master of Arts (MA): 1-2 years
  • LLB: 4 years
  • LLM: 1 year

Top Universities in Netherlands

University NameTimes Higher Education World University RankNumber of Full-Time International Students
Delft University of Technology#584,795
Wageningen University & Research#592,915
University of Amsterdam#624,514
Leiden University#683,566
Erasmus University Rotterdam#705,289
Utrecht University#742,762
University of Groningen#795,420

Top MBA colleges in the Netherlands

  • Amsterdam Business School, Universiteit van Amsterdam - #59(THE);  #121-130(QS Rankings
  • Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University - #72(THE);  #25(QS Rankings)
  • University of Groningen - #83(THE)
  • Maastricht School of Management (MSM) - #103(THE);  #151-200(QS Rankings)
  • Nyenrode Business Universiteit - the only private university in Netherlands is renowned for its business program.

Top Engineering Institutes in the Netherlands

  • HAN University of Applied Sciences - Advanced Sensor Applications 
  • University of Twente - Electrical Engineering
  • HZ University of Applied Sciences - Civil Engineering
  • University of Groningen -  Industrial Engineering and Management
  • The Hague University of Applied Sciences -  Industrial Design Engineering
  • Radboud University – Artificial Intelligence

Types of Universities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has two major types of universities that specialise in honing students in the chosen field of study. Students must choose from the two types depending upon their interest and future career goals.

Type of UniversityNumber of UniversitySpecification
Research Universities14For students interested in research oriented programs
Universities of applied sciences41For students interested in training for professional fields
Others3For students interested in international vocational programs

How to Opt for the Right University?

The Netherlands has some of the best universities in the world. However, one must keep a number of factors in mind before choosing the right university.

Focusing primarily on their future goals and academic interests, students must first decide whether they want to explore and research in their higher education or train for the professional world. Besides these, one must look into the following factors before picking the university for higher education -

  • Academic Excellence: Look into the quality of education offered by the institute. Check world rankings, renowned programs, remarkable achievements, economic contribution, career prospects, etc. before deciding on a university.
  • Costs: Look into scholarships, grants, funds and work-study options offered by the chosen university to reduce the financial burden.
  • Location: This is one of the most important factor while picking a college. The city one lives in decides the kind of cultural, economical and corporate exposure one can get. Other than academic expense, cost of living in a city must also be taken into consideration. The cost of living varies from city to city. Cost of living in Amsterdam and The Hague is higher compared to other cities like Leiden.
  • Student life: Research about the student life at a university. Acquire information about the environment and support the students receive while studying at the university. The friendlier and supportive the administration of a university, the easier it is to study at the university.
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