Higher education in the Netherlands is very attractive amongst both local and international students for more reasons than one. However, the low tuition fees, which students are afforded accompanied by the low cost of living are the two primary reasons why this country has seen a steady influx of international students. With public university costing 1,700 to 1,906 € annually for citizens of the EU, the Netherlands is an option exceptionally more affordable in comparison to a country like the United Kingdom. Those who are residents for non EU countries can be faced with figures as high as 20,000 € depending on the university. The costs for private universities are significantly higher and tuition can cost close to 14,000 € annually. The amount a student in the Netherlands can expect to pay for tuition, insurance, books and study material combined, ranges from 700 to 900 € per month.
University students in the Netherlands tend to live off campus and spend 300 to 600 € a month on accommodation. This figure is, in many cases, lower, as many students split the cost of housing with up to 4 room-mates. Past figures show that the average monthly expenditure of students in the Netherlands ranges from 800 to 1,100 €. This includes money spent on leisure, food, and learning materials.
Out of the 16 billion Euro available in scholarships in Europe, the Netherlands holds a large portion of this figure. Students in the Netherlands are therefore, able to fund a substantial part of their studies without having to spend out of their own pockets. One of the most popular means of obtaining financial support when studying in the Netherlands is through Studiefinanciering. Studiefinanciering is one of the government grants opted for by most Dutch students as well as students from Europe studying in the Netherlands. However, there are certain criteria that needs to be met in order for a student to qualify for this grant. The first is that the applicant must be under 30 years of age but above 18 years old. In addition to this, there is a certain amount of hours that an applicant is required to work, or certain hours that a partner or parent needs to work in the Netherlands, in order to qualify. The costs that may be covered through Studiefinanciering do not only include tuition, but also housing, and transportation, making it a great way for a student in the Netherlands to be able to comfortably afford the additional expenses that come with their studies.
Prestatiebeurs is another government grant available for students in the Netherlands. One of the major differences between the Studiefinanciering and the Prestatiebeurs is the fact that the incomes of a student's parents is not taken into consideration in determining whether or not a student is applicable to receive the Prestatiebeurs. The maximum sum given out for a Prestatiebeurs is 269 € per month.
The Aanvullende beurs is also funded by the government and is available for students in need of financial aid. Eligibility as well as the amount received depends on the earnings a student's parents. The maximum amount received through an Aanvullende beurs is 289 €.
Approximately 84% of all students in the Netherlands receive a grant, scholarship, loan or a combination of all three. Some government scholarship programmes available for students in the Netherlands include the Netherland Fellowship Programme and the Erasmus Mundus Scholarships in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Fellowship Programme is one the largest government programmes offering scholarships to students in the Netherlands. It has organisations in more than 60 countries and is wholly funded by the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs. The scholarships offered through the Netherlands Fellowship Programme are administered by the organisation in the Netherlands that is responsible for international cooperation in high education. There's a lot of competition involved in receiving a scholarship from this organisation. In fact, out of the thousands of applications submitted, a small percentage of students receive a scholarship. To be applicable for a scholarship applicants need a minimum of 3 years work experience.
The Erasmus Mundus scholarship is funded by the European Commission and is available to students pursuing higher level education i.e. a master's or PhD. This scholarship is very hard to attain as there are a minimal number of scholarships offered to only the most exceptional applicants.
A Collegegeldkrediet is also an option for financing one's studies. This is available to students who are citizens of an EU country who have been accepted into a Dutch university. A Collegegeldkrediet is a loan that is transferred to the recipient's bank account on a monthly basis and upon the completion of studies, needs to be paid back. Those who have received a Collegegeldkrediet will have a period of 15 years after their studies have been completed to repay their loan.
Working whilst pursuing a degree is very common for those attending university in the Netherlands. However, where non-EU citizens are concerned, the first steps to finding a job may entail a slight level of difficulty. The reason for this is that they will need to obtain a work permit and even upon receiving their work permit may face restrictions as to how many hours they are allowed to work per week.