5 Universities in the Netherlands with No Application Fees

The Netherlands is a great destination for students from all over the world, thanks to its very high standard of education and the ease of getting a degree in English in a multitude of subjects.

With its very welcoming cities, catering to student life from a cultural and entertainment perspective, the Netherlands is also a stepping stone around Europe allowing travel and settling into the European Union for after your studies.

But where can you apply without paying a fee upfront? Here is a guide to universities in the Netherlands not requiring an application fee.

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Netherlands Universities With No Application Fee

1 Utrecht University

  • Application Fees
  • No application fee for: exchange students, those with a refugee status in the Netherlands, and students applying for admission on the basis of an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate, or a diploma originating from an EU/EEA country, a VWO diploma for Aruba or Surinam, or a Maturitätszeugnis from Switzerland

Utrecht University is one of the leading research universities in Europe, with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1636. It welcomes 1500 international students every year and is very popular with students from all over the world thanks to its highly respected teaching and research standards.

The university’s campus is spread around and outside the city of Utrecht, blending into the city and allowing students to experience life in a vibrant Dutch city.

The academic programs are taught in English and Dutch, so you have a choice depending on your language proficiency. If successful, you will receive a BSc, BA or LLB degree through your studies at UU.

One of the key areas of focus for Utrecht University is sustainability. Knowledge on sustainability is woven into all degrees, or you can focus on it specifically for a BA degree.

The large majority of students applying for the Bachelor’s program at Utrecht University will not be required to pay an application fee, as Utrecht University is one of the universities in the Netherlands with no application fees. In the event that you don’t fit any of the cases outlined above, there is an application fee.

2. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Application Fees
  • No application fee for: students who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or A-level degree in the Netherlands and students applying through Holland ISC Foundation Year or the Foundation for Refugee Students, as well as VASVU students and those applying for the StuNed scholarship

Studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam gives you the opportunity to obtain Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees through programs taught in English. VU Amsterdam was established in 1880 and is now ranked in the top 150 universities in the world.

While it is a private university, VU receives government funding as well, at the same levels as state universities.

There are five programs taught in English as Bachelor’s level: Business Analytics, Computer Science, International Business Administration, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Philosophy, Politics and Economics. However, the total number of degrees awarded if you are able to follow courses in Dutch is around 50 and then even more for Master’s and PhD levels. It is a great place to study if you are still learning Dutch, however.

At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, all students whose high school studies ended with a diploma delivered in the Netherlands are exempt from paying an application fee, as are students that fall in the categories mentioned above. For all others, the application fee is €100.

3. Universiteit Leiden (Leiden University)

  • Application Fees
  • No application fee for: students who have a European Baccalaureate diploma from a Dutch department, students who have previously registered at the university in exchange, SAP, degree or pre-master’s programs, students applying for the BSc in Molecular Science and Technology, students with a refugee status or those who have previously been admitted to Leiden University but postponed their start year.

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is one of the universities in the Netherlands with no application fees. It is also one of the oldest higher education institutions in Europe and also a leading research university on the continent and worldwide. Its campus extends to The Hague as well as Leiden and it also includes de highly respected Leiden University Medical Center. Moreover, it partners with Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam for academic exchanges and research opportunities.

One of the unique features of LU is the Leiden Bio Science Park, where the university collaborates with businesses, the Medical Center and the Municipality of Leiden in projects such as drug development. It is a great place for alumni to find work, too.

Leiden University has waived the application fee in many cases for students coming from Holland or who meet certain criteria. For all others, the application fee is fixed at €100.

4. Erasmus School of Economics – Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • Application Fees
  • No application fees for: students with a Dutch university diploma

Within Erasmus University Rotterdam, the School of Economics is a leading postgraduate program in economics ranked first among similar programs in the Netherlands and 7th in Europe. There are 22 Master’s programs available, from Accounting to Econometrics and more niche subjects such as Port and Transport Economics.

You will not be required to pay an application fee for being considered for the Master’s program as long as you have graduated from a Dutch university for your undergraduate studies.

5. Radboud University

  • Application Fees
  • No application fees for: students from the EEA, students supported by the UAF, those applying for Master’s programs in Theology and European Law, those on a full scholarship and those currently studying at Radboud University as an exchange student

Situated in Nijmengen, Radboud University is a university in the Netherlands that has no application fees for the cases above. It is a public Roman Catholic university accepting students from all over the world into its Master’s programs, in many cases without needing to pay an application fee.

This is a relatively young university, established in 1923, but already ranked relatively highly in various educational rankings.

English taught Master’s at RU span many disciplines, from Behavioral and Social Sciences to Political Science. They also have programs taught in Dutch and English, extending the number of choices.

RU is also famous for its Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics, a research center working on language and communication.