It's all refreshingly informal

Dutch universities ask for a motivation letter, CV and grades. Once you've found where you want to go, just apply directly

The Netherlands is an attractive study option for UK undergraduates. With some degrees fully taught in English, high academic standards and lower fees, Dutch universities offer UK students an exciting cultural experience coupled with an internationally recognised degree. The country now offers 1,560 university programmes taught in English including Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees. "We've seen a sharp increase in UK students for our Masters programmes and also some for our Bachelors as well," says Adri Meijdam, executive director of the BSc in international business administration at Rotterdam School of Management (RSM).

The Netherlands is just a short hop across the North Sea, and transport links are good. Amsterdam University, in the centre of the city, is half an hour's train ride from the Netherlands' major hub, Schiphol Airport. "UK students would spend more time travelling in to London from the suburbs than the 25 minutes it takes to fly from Schiphol to Heathrow," says Hans Hulst, the university's international communications and marketing adviser.

Haider Anwar from East London got into RSM at Clearing and is studying for a BSc in international business administration. "My grades were not enough to secure me a place at my two first-choice UK universities so I looked up the FT MBA rankings and found RSM offered Bachelors degrees and was ranked number seven in Europe," he says.

He then looked up RSM's website and rang the international admissions office. The office confirmed that his grades – A, A, B in maths, business and psychology – were enough to get him in.

Anwar takes up the story. "They asked me for a motivation letter which I composed within the hour and emailed over. Then they asked me to send a copy of my CV and my grades. And when they told me the tuition fee was €1,700 I was taken aback: it didn't seem high at all for such a fabulous university. I packed my bags and left within four days of receiving their offer."

The whole process was stress free. The university found Anwar a room on campus for £100 a week. His parents helped by paying the tuition fee for the entire year up front, but living costs and student accommodation have to be paid from an international student account, which Anwar set up.

"You are part of a very international student community," Anwar says. "The standards expected are high and even though I have enrolled in Dutch language classes pretty much everyone speaks English. I would compare the academic standards with those at Oxford or Cambridge. It's a demanding course but I know that the experience that comes from studying at an international university will help me stand out when I start my career in finance."

Most Dutch universities offer degrees taught in English for subjects such as business, law and economics. RSM offers four Bachelors degrees in business, economics, econometrics and media and communication. The tuition fee of €1,771 is standard for all EU students and UK students are even eligible for a Dutch government student loan provided they work part-time for at least 32 hours a month.

The University of Leiden has 85 UK Bachelors and Masters students on its English taught programmes. Humanities, law, medicine, science and social sciences are all offered. The university and Leiden University College in the Hague operate an online applications system. "The deadline is 15 June for UK students on programmes starting in September and 1 December for programmes starting in February. If students require housing there is an earlier deadline of April for a September start. Admission requirements vary according to programme and we offer open days in which prospective students can learn more about our university and our city. It's a safe city and a relaxed social environment," says Jessica Brouwer, the international marketing adviser.

Leiden offers a customised curriculum in which students can mix and match options according to their study interests. Emma Garthwaite, a Bachelors student in English and linguistics from Edinburgh University, is spending a year in Leiden as part of the EU Erasmus exchange programme and is impressed by the teaching experience. "It's a completely different style of learning compared with the UK. Classes tend to be smaller and there is more emphasis on discussion and critical thinking. Dutch students are encouraged to challenge their teachers," says Garthwaite.

Amsterdam University offers just one English-taught Bachelors degree, in economics and business. Hans Hulst says: "We have 2,000 international students out of a total of 30,000. We have had a big increase in applications from the UK and in the last few months interest has risen enormously."

UK students can look to see which degrees are available on websites such Studielink (www.studielink.nl), the Netherlands' equivalent to Ucas, which also gives advice on how to apply for a course.

In the first instance, UK students are advised to research Dutch universities online and apply direct to the university of their choice. According to the QS World University Ranking 2011, the Netherlands' top 10 includes Utrecht University, Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, University of Groningen, Erasmus University (which includes Rotterdam School of Management) and the University of Maastricht.

The alternative is to register first with the web-based enrolment system Studielink and then apply through the university website as well. International students not resident in the Netherlands will have to create their own Studielink account and will be issued with a username and password. Students applying directly or via Studielink will be sent e-mail notification.

Anwar's application process may have been fast-track but it conforms in every way with the standard practice in the Netherlands of requiring students to provide a letter of motivation, a CV and grades.

Applying to a Dutch university is refreshingly informal. "We make our offer based on achieved grades in the first year of A level," says RSM's Meijdam. He adds that in Holland there is a natural bias towards the international baccalaureate (IB). "Students with an IB fit pretty well into our programme. We ask for a combined subject score of 30-33. And we are keen on mathematics and English so we expect a minimum of grade 5 for those subjects."

So when should you apply? The best time to begin the process is now according to Amsterdam's Hans Hulst. Most Bachelors students apply to Dutch universities between January and April. "The cut-off for applications for a Bachelors degree is 1 May and for a Masters degree it's 1 April," says Hulst.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus all the build-up to Man City vs Chelsea and Everton vs Palace
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Polly Borgen at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012
peopleThe Emmy award-winner starred in Cape Fear, the Sopranos and Desperate House Wives
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam