Exemptions from the English language proficiency test requirements

Students of Nyenrode Business University in HollandNuffic has recently examined the English level of the 27 EU countries and has determined that, for many EU students, the level of English proficiency that they graduate with is sufficient for enrolment into a higher education programme in the Netherlands. This means that some students will no longer be required to take additional English language proficiency tests (such as IELTS and TOEFL) in order to meet the language qualifications that many Dutch universities have.

According to the Dutch Code of Conduct, which regulates higher education qualifications for international students, minimal English language requirements at Dutch universities vary from 5.0 and 5.5 IELTS for preparatory programmes to 6.0 and 6.5 for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes

However, with the recent Nuffic assessment of diplomas, Dutch universities may now exempt students students that have successfully completed the diplomas and final examinations listed below. These diplomas show that a student’s command of English is already proven and therefore they can be exempt by their admitting university from taking the otherwise mandatory English proficiency tests.

As of August 1st, 2014, students from the following countries with the named diplomas and exams completed may be exempted by their Dutch institution from taking an English proficiency test:

Belgium (Flanders)

  • Diploma: Diploma van secundair onderwijs
  • Exam: Examen Algemeen Secundair Onderwijs, derde graad (ASO)
  • Diploma: Diploma van secundair onderwijs
  • Exam: Examen Kunst- en Technisch secundair onderwijs, derde graad (KSO/TSO)


  • Diploma: Studentereksamenbevis (STX)
  • Exam: Studentereksamenbevis (STX)
  • Diploma: Bevis for Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF)
  • Exam: Højere Forberedelseksamen (HF)


  • Diploma: Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife
  • Exam: Abiturprüfung Gymnasium
  • Diploma: Fachhochschulreife
  • Exam: Hochschulreifeprüfung Berufsoberschulen


  • Diploma: Gümnaasiumi lõputunnistus
  • Exam: Riigieksamid Gümnaasium


  • Diploma: Ylioppilastutkintotodistus/Studentexamenbevis
  • Exam: Ylioppilastutkinto/ Studentexamen (Matriculation Examination)
  • Diploma: Matriculation Examination Certificate


  • Diploma: Gimnáziumi Érettségi Bizonyítvány
  • Exam: Érettségi vizsga (Matura Examination)
  • Diploma: Szakközépiskolai Érettségi-képesítő Bizonyítvány
  • Exam: Érettségi vizsga (Matura Examination)


  • Diploma: Atestāts par Vispārējo Vidējo Izglītību (Certificate of Secondary Education)
  • Exam: Centralizētais eksāmens (National Examination)


  • Diploma: Brandos Atestata (Maturity Certificate)
  • Exam: Brandos Egzamino (Final Matura Examination)


  • Diploma: Diplôme de Fin d'Études Secondaires
  • Exam: Examen de fin d'études secondaires


  • Diploma: Vitnemal for Videregående Skole (Secondary School Certificate)
  • Exam: Eksamen fellesfag ENG 1002/1003 (Vg1)
  • Exam: Eksamen programfag SPR3008 (Vg2), SPR3010 (Vg3), SPR3012 (Vg3)


  • Diploma: Reifezeugnis/ Reifeprüfungszeugnis
  • Exam: Reifeprüfung Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schule (AHS)
  • Diploma: Reife- und Diplomprüfungszeugnis
  • Exam: Reifeprüfung Berufsbildende Höhere Schule (BHS)


  • Diploma: Diploma de Bacalaureat
  • Exam: Examenul de Bacalaureat


  • Diploma: Vysvedčenie o Maturitnej skúške (received from a Gymnázium)
  • Exam: Maturita


  • Diploma: Slutbetyg från Gymnasieskolan
  • Exam: Eksamen English 5, English 6, English 7

Nuffic will evaluate the countries again in 5 years to make sure the levels are still sufficient and to see if any of the other countries that are not yet on the list can join the exemption.

Source: nuffic.nl

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