Study Abroad France


Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: HAVO Diploma

For entry to: Hogeschool (University of Professional Education)

Alternatives to credentials:

MBO Diploma (level 4) grants admission to HBO


Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: VWO Diploma

For entry to: Hogeschool and Universiteit

Alternatives to credentials: Students who have passed the first year (propedeuse) of higher professional education (HBO) are eligible for admission to the universities.

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Numerus clausus for specific university and HBO programmes are determined by the Ministry of Education and vary from year to year. A numerus clausus still applies for university programmes in fields such as Medicine, Dentistry; Pharmacy; and Veterinary Medicine.

Other admission requirements: Theology/Classical Studies: Latin and Greek; Medical Sciences, Pharmacy: Biology, Physics and Chemistry; other Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering: Mathematics and Physics; Economics/Social Sciences: Mathematics.The reforms in the upper secondary phase of HAVO and VWO will have an enormous influence on the admission of students to higher education programmes. Diplomas obtained upon completion of the old-style curriculum will be phased out in 2004-2005. After that, the admission requirements to many higher education programmes will be even more strictly regulated than they are now and secondary graduates who have not completed the required subject cluster or supplemented subject cluster for a particular programme will not be admitted to that programme.


Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student: For the purpose of evaluation: a student admitted to an institution of higher education on the basis of a foreign diploma, whether he has Dutch nationality or not. For the purpose of statistics, scholarships: any student who does not hold a Dutch passport.

Quotas: Medicine, 2% of all applicants, Dentistry, 2% of all applicants, Pharmacy, 2% of all applicants.

Admission requirements: Foreign students in the Netherlands must have reached in their home country a level of education considered at least equivalent to that required for entry into the proposed university or HBO-programme. In addition, certain programmes require sufficient preparation in subjects at the secondary level.

Entry regulations: Every foreign student needs a residence permit. To be eligible for this permit one must: hold a valid passport, be registered in a full-time course of study, have enough money to cover study and living expenses, have medical insurance, have enough money to pay for a return ticket. Nationals of some countries may apply and obtain a residence permit after their arrival in the Netherlands; others must obtain an authorization of temporary residence (MVV) from the Netherlands embassy or consulate of their country. Non EU students need a visa.

Health requirements: none

Language requirements: A language test is usually required. Most universities organize Dutch language courses.


Application procedures:

Apply to national body for entry to: First year of HBO or university education

Apply to:


PO Box 30157
 9700 LJ Groningen


Application closing dates:

For university level studies: 1 Dec


Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): Main bodies for accrediting credentials: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Welfare, Health and Cultural Affairs.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

Department for International Credential Evaluation, Nuffic (Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education)

Director: Jindra Divis

PO Box 29777
Kortenaerkade 11
2502 LT The Hague

Tel: +31(70) 426-0270

Fax: +31(70) 4260-395

Telex: 33565 nuffic nl


Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University

Services provided & students dealt with: Evaluation of foreign qualifications upon request of institution of higher education, ministries and individual diploma holders


Other information sources on recognition of foreign studies: Some universities carry out their own evaluations.


Special provisions for recognition:

For access to university level studies: HBO and Universiteit: For holders of foreign qualifications regardless of nationality there are no special provisions nor practices. The institution decides and the applicants should contact the Hogeschool or university  of their choice.

For access to advanced studies and research: Institutions are empowered by law to make their own decisions.


Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Unesco Convention On the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in the States of the European Region

Year of signature: 1981

Name of agreement: European Convention On the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications (1959)

Year of signature: 1967

Name of agreement: Protocol To the European Convention On the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading To Admission To Universities

Year of signature: 1964

Name of agreement: European Convention On the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading To Admission To Universities

Year of signature: 1956

Name of agreement: European Convention On the Equivalence of Periods of University Studies

Year of signature: 1956


Bilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign credentials

Name of agreement: Agreement On Equivalence of Degrees

Year of signature: 1985

Country/state involved: Austria

Name of agreement: Agreement On Equivalence of Degrees

Year of signature: 1983

Country/state involved: Germany


References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Study in the Netherlands

Publisher: Nuffic

Title: The Education System of the Netherlands

Publisher: Nuffic


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