Admission requirements for Bulgarian students in The Netherlands

Students of Stenden University of Applied SciencesStudents from Bulgaria that wish to study in the Netherlands are able to take advantage of the benefits that a Dutch higher education can offer them.

As members of the EU, Bulgarian students will not require residence permits or study visas and are able to pay the same tuition fees that Dutch students pay for their programmes, making studying in Holland affordable.

However, Bulgarian students will be required to prove their English proficiency by passing an IELTS or TOEFL exam and showing that they meet the prerequisites for Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes with the appropriate previous education and diplomas.

Bachelor’s programme requirements

In order to be eligible for entry into a Dutch Bachelor’s programme, Bulgarian students must have a secondary school diploma. The following diplomas are equivalent to this level of education in the Netherlands.

  • A Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie (Диплома за средна образовагие) in the academic stream is comparable to a VWO diploma in the Netherlands.
  • A Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie (Диплома за средна образовагие) in the vocational stream can be compared to a HAVO diploma in Holland.

Either of these diplomas can make students eligible for a Bachelor’s programme in Holland. Some programmes may require additional qualifications.

Master’s programme requirements

At the HAN UAS admission deskEntry into a Master’s programme in Holland requires Bulgarian students to have the following qualifications:

  • A Diploma za visshe obrazovanie na obrazovatelno-kvalifikatsionna stepen (Диплома за висше образоние на образователно-квалификационна степен), also known as a professional “Bakalavr”, is equivalent to a Dutch vocational (HBO) or research (WO) Bachelor’s degree. The exact level varies depending on the type of programme completed.
  • A Diploma za Zavarsheno Poluvisshe Obrazovanie at the Specialist level can be compared, at most, to a Dutch HBO Bachelor’s degree.

Admission to a Master’s programme may be granted to students who possess these diplomas. Some Master’s programmes could require further qualifications as well. It is advised to check with the faculty to confirm other required documents.

To find out more about the language, finance, and other requirements that Bulgarian students will need to meet in order to study in the Netherlands, please see the Can I study in Holland page.

Bulgarian students in the Netherlands

As Bulgaria is a member of European Union, higher education in Holland is very popular among the citizens of this country. in 2016-2017, 2,281 Bulgarian students were studying at Dutch government-funded education institutions (257 more than a year before). The most popular fields of studies and degrees among students, coming to study in the Netherlands from Bulgaria, were as follows:

 Type of university Fields of study Degrees
  1. Economy & Business
  2. Law
  3. Human & Social Sciences
  4. Engineering
  • Bachelor: 22.5%
  • Master: 21.8%
of applied sciences
  1. Economy & Business
  2. Engineering
  3. Arts & Culture
  4. Human & Social Sciences
  • Bachelor: 54.9%


Please note, this article is a general indication meant to provide useful information to prospective Bulgarian students. No rights may be derived from this text.

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