Unlocking Dutch Higher Education with the NL Scholarship


The NL Scholarship was established by the Netherlands government in 2016 to promote internationalization and diversity in Dutch universities and colleges. It aims to make higher education accessible for non-EEA students who would otherwise not be able to afford to study in the Netherlands.



To qualify, applicants must gain unconditional admission to a full-degree program at a Dutch post-secondary institution. The program must be nationally accredited and at least a Bachelor’s level. They should not hold EEA/Swiss nationality. Financial need and academic merit are considered.

Value & Coverage:

The partial-tuition scholarship is worth €2,000-€3,000 per year depending on the study level and institution. It is renewable annually subject to satisfactory academic performance. The scholarship can cover up to 50% of the statutory tuition fees for the standard program duration.

Application Process:

Students must apply for the scholarship through Nuffic, the Dutch organization for the internationalization of education, before the university deadline. A motivation letter, academic transcripts, proof of funding, and reference letters are required. Admission to a Dutch institution is still needed separately.



Being selected enhances students’ study visa applications and work permit chances after graduation. It relieves much of the financial burden, allowing them to focus fully on their studies. Scholars gain intercultural networking and a headstart in the competitive Dutch job market.


With the NL Scholarship, the Netherlands demonstrates its commitment to being a top international study destination and welcoming talent from all over the globe. Recipients have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Dutch higher education and society.

See also  Apply for Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship

What are the academic requirements for gaining unconditional admission to a Dutch post-secondary institution?

To gain unconditional admission to a Dutch post-secondary institution for the NL Scholarship, the academic requirements are:

  • Completion of secondary education that is deemed comparable to a Dutch pre-university education (VWO) diploma. This usually means a high school certificate allowing university entrance in one’s own country.
  • Meeting the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) or score requirements for the chosen field and level of study. Bachelor’s programs usually require a GPA of 6-7 out of 10 or a high school average of 70-80%.
  • Passing any standardized admission tests that are mandatory for international students, such as SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS etc. with the scores required by the university.
  • Completion of relevant pre-university level courses/subjects depending on the degree program, e.g. required STEM courses for engineering degrees.
  • Positive recommendation letters from schools previously attended.
  • Proof of English language proficiency at a minimum level of IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 80 for Bachelor’s or IELTS 6.5/TOEFL 90 for Master’s.
  • Some degrees may require passing specialized admission assessments beyond the above criteria.
  • Meeting the application deadlines set by the universities, which are usually binding for unconditional admission chances.

Applicants must satisfy all the academic entry standards of the chosen program for their admission to be deemed unconditional.


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