Admission requirements for Indian students

The Hague, HollandAs a non-EU student, there are a number of documents you need and requirements you must meet in order to come and study in The Netherlands. Unlike EU students, non-EU students must obtain a residence permit and have specific qualifications in order to apply for a Bachelor’s or Master’s study programme. As a student applying from India, these are the basic conditions you must meet.

Satisfying the basic admission requirements

Most universities in The Netherlands that offer Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes to international students have similar admission requirements. The most basic of these are:

  • a secondary school diploma, or higher education diploma or equivalent;
  • sufficient TOEFL or IELTS test scores;
  • and proof of enough financial resources to cover education and living expenses for the duration of the study programme.

Certain degrees or specialisations may ask applicants for more specific qualifications on top of these basic requirements. Degrees awarded in India may be comparable to Dutch degrees as follows.

Secondary school diploma, or higher education diploma or equivalent

In order to be accepted for a Bachelor’s programme in The Netherlands, you must have one of the following degrees:

  • A Standard XII high school diplomaStudent of the Hague University is usually sufficient, but in some cases the diploma may need to be evaluated by authorised organisations such as Nuffic to make sure. In these cases, the Dutch institution will send your diploma to be assessed.

  • Standard XII diplomas Intermediate Examination Certificate or Higher Secondary School Certificate with results A - E in five subjects are accepted for admission at Dutch universities of applied sciences.

  • A Standard XII All India Senior School Certificate with results A (A1, A2) of B (B1) in 5 subjects and a Standard XII Indian School Certificate with average results as 75 % give access to research universities in Holland. Some of them may also require an extra year of study to ensure the level of education that the student possesses is enough to be admitted into a specific Bachelor’s level study programme.

  • Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Commerce equivalent. A Bachelor of Arts or Science awarded in India is usually the equivalent of 2 years of a Bachelor’s programme at a Dutch research university. This may mean that students are required to do an extra year of education to reach the same level of study as in The Netherlands before they can be accepted into a Bachelor’s programme.

    A Bachelor of Commerce degree awarded in India is comparable to 3 years of study completed at a university of applied sciences in Holland in an economic field of study. This should be a sufficient level of study in order to be admitted into a Bachelor’s programme.

In order to be accepted for a Master’s programme in The Netherlands, you must have one of the following degrees:

  • Honours Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Commerce equivalent. A Bachelor of Arts or Science degree awarded with Honours in India at a leading institution equivalates to 3 years at a research university in The Netherlands. If the degree is awarded from another institution, it equivalates to 2 years. This degree is more easily comparable to a Dutch university degree than the General Bachelor’s degree and may grant direct access to Master’s programmes, depending on the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) classification of the institution and the results obtained.

    A Bachelor of Commerce degree awarded with Honours is comparable to a Bachelor’s degree awarded at a university of applied sciences in an economic field of study in Holland.

Language criteria

Students that apply from non-native English speaking countries must also prove their proficiency in English by passing a TOEFL or IELTS test. These tests are held fairly frequently at many institutions worldwide and can be registered for throughout the year. The results from your test must be recent in order to be valid (generally within the past 2-3 years).

Zuyd University of Applied SciencesFinancial criteria

Proof of finances is also required. This can be provided via a bank statement on an internationally reputable bank’s official letterhead. If your study is being sponsored by someone else, such as your parents, a written statement must also be included by the sponsor that specifies the amount and duration of the sponsorship.

For more information about studying in The Netherlands, you can read the “Can I study in Holland” article and the Admissions page.

Obtaining your student visa and residence permit

Students coming to study in Holland from India will require residence permit in order to stay in the country for longer than 3 months. As of June 1st, 2013 when the Modern Migration Policy came into effect in The Netherlands, non-EU students are able to apply for both the regular provisional residence permit (MVV) and the regular residence permit (VVR) at the same time via the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV). The TEV procedure is a joint effort between the student and the sponsoring higher educational institution. The student will provide their university with the required information and documents and the school will then apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for the student.

Make sure you provide your school with the required documents in time as the processing time may vary. To find out more about what documents are necessary for this procedure and other conditions that apply, please read the Student visas and residence permits article.

Indian students in Holland

According to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (DUO), there were 1,525 students from India studying at Dutch government-funded universities in the 2016-2017 study year (221 more than a year before). See the most popular study fields, and degrees among Indian students in the table below:

 Type of university Fields of study Degrees
  1. Engineering
  2. Economy & Business
  3. Science
  4. Agriculture & Environmental Sceinces
  • Bachelor: 11.5%
  • Master: 78.9%
of applied sciences
  1. Engineering
  2. Economy & Business
  3. Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
  4. Arts & Culture
  • Bachelor: 9.0%

See also:

Types universities in the Netherlands
Tuition fees and living expenses in Holland

General admission requirements to study in the Netherlands
Documents required for admission at Dutch universities

Programme finder
Scholarship finder

What Indian students say about studying in the Netherlands


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

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Comments (1) Comment the article

22/05/2014, 07:48 # Ashu V

Hello there. While reading through this article, I found an error which I felt the need to point out as it was inaccurate information. In the first point under the paragraph "Secondary school diploma, or higher education diploma or equivalent", the IB is wrongly stated as Indian Intelligence Bureau. While the confusion is understandable as both have the same abbreviations, but in terms of the context of education, the correct term for IB will be International Baccalaureate.

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