Study in the Netherlands
More than 1,500 study programs are taught in English in the Netherlands, and a relatively large number of students who apply to Dutch higher education institutions have a high school diploma from an international school. In principle, these programs correspond to those described above in terms of purpose, content, duration and level, including all possible variations. The most important point relating to international American schools is accreditation. Just as with higher education institutions in the US, all high schools have to be accredited by a department within one of the six accrediting bodies that are designated specifically for this level.
To be admitted to a higher education program, you first need to contact the institution that offers the program. They can tell you exactly which admission requirements apply to the program of your choice.
The main requirement for admission to a bachelor’s program is a secondary school diploma at the appropriate level. The institution sets this level. In certain popular fields, the number of places is limited and quotas are set. There are also study programs – in the arts for example – for which institutions set their own additional requirements.
There are admission requirements for a number of university programs. More specifically: admission requirements for medical studies (including veterinary studies), technical studies and economics/econometrics & (international) business studies are now expressed in terms of specific tracks that students need to have completed in their secondary school program.
The reforms in secondary education are known in Dutch as the 'invoering tweede fase' and the four specific tracks are known as 'subject clusters'.
- Natuur - en gezondheid (N&G; physical sciences and health sciences)
- Natuur & techniek (N&T: physical sciences)
- Economie & maatschappij (E&M; economics & social sciences)
- Cultuur & maatschappij (C&M: humanities)
If you know which diploma the institution of your choice has set as a minimum requirement, you can check how your diploma compares to this on the Nuffic website (Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education).
Students often have to register on the Dutch national student registration database (Studielink) at https://app.studielink.nl/front-office/ before starting an application.
Please note that universities in the Netherlands are autonomous and each university in the Netherlands sets its own policy regarding admission and academic credentials. This is why admission requirements may vary per institution, so it is important to verify the requirements with the university directly as well.