7 Cheapest Universities in Netherlands for International Students

Known for its meandering canals, stunning fields of tulip flowers, calm sceneries studded with traditional windmills, and iconic cities steeped in tradition, the Netherlands or Holland is a country that not many people in the world are unaware of. Located in the Northwestern region of Europe, the Netherlands is a relatively small landmass that consists of around twelve provinces.

It is further made up of three key cities that are home to the majority of the universities; the cities of Amsterdam (the capital of the Netherlands), Rotterdam, and The Hague.

Despite its small area, the country is known for being densely populated as well, in addition to being one of the wealthiest and developed countries of Europe.

Numerous factors about this unique country make the Netherlands a very tempting and excellent option for prospective students. It has a reputation for its very liberal sense of ethos so students can have a flexible and diverse experience during their studies.

Its influential status in the continent, particularly in terms of international politics and governance, presents students with numerous opportunities and exposure that would greatly benefit them during their studies.

Additionally, cities such as Amsterdam overflow with cultural experiences with numerous museums, galleries, and sights that could enhance any student’s academic studies.

Dutch universities place a strong emphasis on support and attention to their students so a lot of interaction occurs between staff and the students. The focus on the practical applications of studies also greatly benefits any prospective student so as to ensure they have applied thinking.

In addition, the country is known for its diverse work experience at an international level so once again, this could greatly benefit a student’s future. In this article, we present a list of universities that offer the cheapest tuition fees for prospective students to pursue their studies in the Netherlands.

How Do I study in the Netherlands as an International Student?

Preparing your application and submitting it can seem very daunting. To help you with this whole process, we’ve prepared a guide on How to Study in the Netherlands for International Students Guide! If you don’t know where to start, reading this guide is a good place to start!

Are universities free in the Netherlands?

Higher education in the Netherlands is generally not offered on a tuition-free basis. However, the advantage is that the government of the country has subsidized the tuition fee rates which makes it a comparatively affordable option to study in as opposed to other countries.

This also applies to international students as well so they are benefited from subsidized fees in the same way. So, you should take advantage of these cheap universities in the Netherlands!


What are the language requirements for studying in a Dutch university?

The primary language of instruction in a Dutch university is naturally in the Dutch language. International students are usually offered intensive training courses to study this language.

However, several universities in the country offer courses that are taught in English as well, at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level. However, to study in the Netherlands in English, the universities require you to submit IELTS or TOEFL scores to be eligible.


How expensive is it to study in the Netherlands?

As mentioned before, tuition fees are relatively cheap. In general, students can expect to pay between EUR 1900 up to EUR 15,000 on an annual basis, depending on the university and the course.

In terms of cost of living (which includes accommodation and other basic living expenses), students, on average, can spend between EUR 800 to 1200 per month which depends on the student and the location as well.


How can I afford my studies in the Netherlands?

There are thousands of international students studying in the Netherlands, and the fact is, some of them come from financially difficult circumstances. But how do they study in the Netherlands? They can do so in a variety of ways, and we cover them in How to Study in the Netherlands for Free (Complete Guide). If you are interested, check out this great resource!


What are some of the top degrees in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands offers a variety of choices when it comes to degrees. The most popular degrees in the Netherlands were the following:


Affordable Universities in Other Countries


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Cheap Universities in the Netherlands

1. Utrecht University

Located in the fourth largest city of the Netherlands, Utrecht, this university is a public institution of higher education that was founded in 1636. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country. As of 2019, the university has a student enrolment of over 30,000.

Utrecht University has been consistently ranked among the topmost universities in the world; it is regarded as the best university in the Netherlands and is placed among the top 100 universities of the world (based on the Shanghai Ranking of World Universities).

The university is academically comprised of 7 main faculties of study which range across humanities, social sciences, law/economics, medicine, geosciences, veterinary medicine, and natural sciences. Collectively, this elite institution offers over 120 courses and degrees of study for its students.

All programs are exclusively offered, taught, and administered in English which is a major advantage for international students. Luckily, tuition fees are not as expensive as one would think so prospective students can have access to studying at one of the cheapest universities in the Netherlands.


2. University of Twente

The University of Twente is a public research institution of higher education based in the city of Enschede in the eastern region of the Netherlands. Founded in 1961, the university currently has a student population of over 11,000.

Despite its recent inception, the university has evolved into an internationally recognized institution of study and has been constantly ranked among the top 400 universities in the world.

Five faculties constitute the academics of the university, of which numerous sub-departments are organized. Through this academic profile, the university offers well over 80 degrees at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.

This cheap university in the Netherlands further maintains strong collaborations with other universities in the country such as the Eindhoven and the Delft Institutes of Technology.

Of the large student body, the university is also home to over 3000 international students who come from 80 different nationalities. Research is a focal point of the university and it is one of the few institutions in the country to offer a strong input in nanotechnology.


3. Radboud University

Based in the city of Nijmegen, the Radboud University is another public institution of higher education that was first established in 1923. This university is located in one of the oldest cities in the country but has a dominant focus on research.

Currently, the university has a student body of over 20,000 with approximately 20% comprising of international students from across the world. The majority of programs offered by the university are for graduates (around 35 Master’s programs) while around 15 Bachelors’s programs are also offered. In addition, the main language of instruction is English, which is great for international students.

Research in the university varies from business and law research to brain sciences and physics. Its well-rounded academic and research expertise has enabled the university to be ranked among the best universities in the country as well as among the top 150 universities in the world.

It further maintains strong ties with other prestigious universities in the world such as the University of Oxford (the UK) and the University of Bologna (Italy).


4. Delft University of Technology

The Delft University of Technology (commonly known as TU Delft) is a public institution of higher education with a focus on technological education. Established in 1842, this cheap university in the Netherlands is based in the city of Delft in the southern region of the Netherlands.

Currently, the university has a student enrolment of over 20,000 students. TU Delft has an academic profile comprising of 8 faculties that are predominantly focused on engineering and technical studies – these range across architecture and industrial engineering to technology/policy and applied sciences.

Collectively, a wide variety of courses are offered to the students and the system offers degrees at bachelor, master’s, and doctoral levels. 16 BSc programs are offered which are typically taught in 3 years and exclusively managed in English. A higher number of Master’s and doctoral programs are offered, many of which are managed in collaboration with the Erasmus exchange program.

TU Delft has a large and diverse campus with major areas such as Mekelpark and Aula so students have access to a wide range of facilities at a cutting edge and innovative level that would greatly influence their studies.


5. University of Groningen

One of the cheapest universities in the Netherlands for international students is the University of Groningen. It is a prestigious public research university that is based in the city of Groningen (located in the northern region of the Netherlands).

Founded in 1614, the university is officially the second oldest institution of higher education in the country. It is home to a student enrolment of over 20,000 students.

Academically, the university is organized into 11 faculties of study which also contain multiple graduate schools and several elite research institutions. These cover a range of disciplines including the humanities, law, economics, business, social sciences, life sciences, and the natural sciences as well as technological studies.

In addition to the availability of Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. courses, the university also offers short-term courses as well. Collectively, over 170 degrees of study are offered which are exclusively taught and administered in English as well.

In terms of the student population, the university is also home to over 6000 international students who come from over 12 different countries in the world. Groningen is further reputed for being a high-profile student city.

It is also one of the safest and eco-friendly cities in the Netherlands. The university has been ranked among the top 100 universities in the world based on several league tables.


6. University of Amsterdam

Located in the capital of Amsterdam, this elite institution of higher education is the third oldest university in the country and was established in 1632. It is one of the principal universities of the capital as well as one of the largest research institutions in the continent with a current student population of over 30,000 students.

Of this body, nearly 3000 students are of foreign nationalities and come from over 100 countries across the world. The university’s main campus is spread across the city and is highly integrated within.

It is known for its rigorous academics and has been consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. It is also connected to 6 Nobel laureates with its high research potential.

Academically, the university has a profile consisting of seven main faculties including science, humanities, economics/business, law, social/behavioral sciences, medicine, and dentistry.

Collectively, the university offers around 59 Bachelor’s programs, 133 Master’s programs, and 10 Doctoral programs of study. The majority of these courses are taught in English.

It further maintains strong partnerships with multiple overseas universities including exchange programs that draw in several international students on an annual basis. Students also have access to several academic and extra-curricular organizations so as to enhance their student experience.


7. Eindhoven Institute of Technology

The Eindhoven Institute of Technology (also called TU Eindhoven) is a technological university located in the city of Eindhoven in the southern region of the country. Founded in 1956, the university currently has a student population of over 10,000 students.

Despite its recent inception, this cheap university in the Netherlands has a strong academic and research prowess and has been ranked among the top 400 universities in the world. As the university is expected, it offers multiple departments that focus on specific fields of engineering, physical sciences, and information technology.

It further maintains strong connections with other overseas institutions such as the National University of Singapore, Northwestern University (USA), RMIT University (Australia), and KU Leuven (Belgium).


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!