Netherlands: Graduate Level Country Guide

Netherlands: Graduate Level Country Guide

QS Staff Writer

更新日期 September 13, 2021 更新日期 September 13

The Netherlands boasts a wide and diverse range of study locations for students thinking of studying abroad at graduate level. You will probably know a few things about capital city Amsterdam – considered to be one of Europe’s great capital cities – but it’s certainly worth looking into places like vibrant and multicultural second city Rotterdam, sophisticated Maastricht and quaint Utrecht.

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Going Dutch

A spokesperson for Utrecht University attests: “The education system in Holland is known for its high quality in teaching and research, and its international study environment…Respect for each individual’s opinions and convictions are a national virtue that gives strength to the fabric of Holland’s diverse and plural society. This is the foundation of the teaching method used at the Dutch educational institutions. The teaching style can be described as interactive and student-centered, providing students with the attention and freedom they need to develop their own opinions and creativity in applying their newly acquired knowledge.”

The Dutch approach to higher education, referred to as ‘Problem Based Learning’ – a student centric approach which centers on the collective resolution of issues which reflect those which occur in life – has attracted plaudits from around the globe. Additionally, all courses delivered at universities in the Netherlands must be approved by Dutch and Flemish accreditation agency NVAO, so you can rest safe in the knowledge that they will be of a high standard.

English-language tuition

International students will be glad to hear that, in addition to a significant proportion of Dutch people speaking English as a second language – often to a very high standard – a plethora of graduate level courses are delivered in English at Dutch universities. Leiden University, for example, offers 80 taught master’s programs in English, the University of Amsterdam has 140, and Utrecht University has 83. The figures at other universities are similarly high, and PhDs can also be studied in English. You won’t, therefore, be required to wrestle with the polysyllabic complexities of the Dutch tongue – in an academic context at least!

Part of the motivation for offering so many courses in English is a large scale and institutional commitment to internationalization. The Netherlands is famous for its multicultural society and for its tolerance. This is reflected in the attitudes of universities. Jeanine Gregersen, Director of Marketing and Communications at Maastricht University, states that “Maastricht University is a European and internationally oriented university. Following our strategy, we aim to attract a diverse student population, with students from both European and non-European countries, at undergraduate and graduate level. Our international classroom prepares graduates for a globalized labor market.”

Laura Erdtsieck of the University of Amsterdam’s Communication department echoes this sentiment: “We would like to maintain our status as being a truly international university. This benefits education and research. We now have around 85 different nationalities studying at the UvA, and 178 nationalities living in the city itself. An international orientation also makes the programs more interesting – getting ideas from different perspectives and cultures. Also many of our teachers and professors are [international].” Perhaps, though, this approach is best summed up by a phrase in Utrecht University’s Strategic Plan:   “Quality”, it runs, “is not limited by borders”.

Pay and publication

You may also be glad to hear that the Dutch education will no bankrupt you. Fees for international students at graduate level average not much more than US$14,000 a year. If you’re from an EU country the situation is even better, with annual fees set at just under US$3,000.

PhD candidates are considered to be researchers rather than students. As such, a good deal are actually paid employees of the universities at which they are stationed. It seems to be an approach that pays dividends, as the Netherlands ranks second and third respectively in terms of publications per researcher and research impact according to Euraxess figures.

Fees and regulations

As well as enjoying lower fees, EU candidates do no need a visa to study in the Netherlands. If this applies to you then all you will need to do is register with the local city council, and purchase health insurance.

Non-EU citizens will need to get residence permits. Additionally, citizens of certain countries will also need to get provisional residence permits (MVV) in order to enter the Netherlands. Your university will make the application for this on your behalf, but you will need to provide them with the necessary documentation. As is standard in Europe, you will need to provide proof of sufficient financial means. Presently, it is estimated that you will need just over US$1,000 a month.

Special regulations also apply to Chinese students, who must apply for a Nuffic Certificate, which can be done online (don’t be put off – the number of Chinese students who are studying in the Netherlands has actually increased since this stipulation was added).

You should also be aware that some universities require you to use the centralized Dutch university application system (Studilelink) to apply for master’s degrees, so do make sure you find out what the institution requires, as exact policy varies.

One final thing to be aware of is the absence of on-campus accommodation. You will need to rent privately, which you are strongly advised to do well in advance of starting of your course, as rooms can be hard to come by, particularly in larger urban centers.

But the hassle will be worth it. Just remember that previous international scholars who have studied at universities in the Netherlands include Alfred Einstein, René Descartes and James Boswell. Not at all bad company in which to be really…

本文首发于 2012 December , 更新于 2021 September 。





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