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Top Universities in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands is home to many world renowned universities, universities of applied sciences, and technical universities.

Best Universities in the Netherlands

There are many well-ranked universities in the Netherlands, both public and private. These include research universities, universities of applied sciences, and other specialised institutions, such as business schools. These universities are located all over the country, in diverse student cities like Amsterdam, Leiden, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

As well as boasting competitive tuition fees (public universities are government subsidised and therefore cheaper, especially for EU/EEA students), the Netherlands also has a great reputation for its research output and contributions. There are 3 Dutch universities in the League of European Research Universities (LERU) group, displaying the quality and standard of higher education in the Netherlands.

The Dutch higher education system follows the Bologna process, meaning that the qualifications you are awarded will be recognised by future employers and further study providers around the world. You will also find that there are a large number of degrees offered in the English language, particularly at the postgraduate level, making the Netherlands an attractive choice for international students.

Top 10 Universities in the Netherlands

Below is a table of the most recent QS and Times Higher Education (THE) rankings for the best universities in the Netherlands. QS and THE annually publish some of the most trusted and world recognised global universities rankings.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024 Times Higher Education Ranking 2024
Delft University of Technology=4748
University of Amsterdam5361
Utrecht University=107
Eindhoven University of Technology=124=168
Leiden University=12677
University of Groningen13979
Wageningen University & Research=151=64
Erasmus University Rotterdam=176=99
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam207125
University of Twente210184

READ MORE: University Rankings Explained

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

As a provider of technical education since 1842, Delft University of Technology is the oldest and largest public technical university in the Netherlands. It is consistently well ranked in the worldwide university ranking systems.

There are a number of programs offered in the English language at TU Delft, at both bachelor’s and master’s level. As a public university, the tuition fees charged to EU/EEA students are nominal (usually a small semester fee only). International students are also charged a very competitive tuition fee, and living expenses in the city of Delft are reasonable.

See all courses available at Delft University of Technology

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Located in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam is a public research university. It offers a large number of its courses in the English language, and is a member of the League of European Research Universities.

Aside from its location, it is also known for constantly ranking as one of the top universities in the Netherlands and its various centres of expertise. It has 26 research institutes and 30 research centres, which include cultural heritage and identity, global health and development and quantum matter and quantum information.

See all courses available at the University of Amsterdam

Utrecht University

Consistently well-ranked in various world rankings systems, Utrecht University is located in the city of Utrecht. The city is known for its mediaeval centre, canal system, and imposing Domtoren, which is a bell tower that has beautiful and panoramic views.

The university offers many of its bachelor and master degree in the English language, and is home to international students from around 110 countries around the world. This diversity in the student body means that any international student will be welcomed with open arms. It is also a member of the League of European Research Universities.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Specialising in engineering science and technology, Eindhoven University of Technology’s distinctive research areas include Broadband Telecommunication Technologies, Nano-Engineering of Functional Materials and Devices and Process Engineering and Control. It offers state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that allow its students to be innovative as well as entrepreneurial.

The city of Eindhoven is known as a hub for design and technology, and was the birthplace of Philips electronics. As well as its reputation for technological advancement, there is also a long history of art in the city, which you can view in the various museums.

Leiden University

Located in the city of Leiden, Leiden University is the oldest higher education institution in the Netherlands. It was founded as a Protestant university by William, Prince of Orange, in 1575, and stands today as a public research university.

As a member of the League of European Research Universities, Leiden has a strong reputation for its contribution to various fields. The university offers many of its degrees and masters in the English language, and is home to international students from around 115 countries around the world, meaning you will be joining a diverse student community.

University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen is the second oldest university in the Netherlands, and functions as a public research university today. It is home to over 30,000 students, around 6,000 of which are international students, and offers around 180 of its degrees and masters programmes in the English language.

The university is known as one of the most traditional and prestigious universities in the world, and excels in terms of its research output. It consistently ranks well on the international university rankings, and attracts some of the best students and faculty members from all over the globe.

See all courses available at the University of Groningen

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research is a public research university, specialising in life sciences, agriculture, technical and engineering subject areas. It is world renowned for its contribution to research in these fields, and is consistently well ranked in world university rankings tables.

Wageningen is home to around 14,000 students, almost 4,000 of which are international students. The university prides itself on its worldwide partnerships, and the fact that its student population is diverse and welcoming to students from around the world.

See all courses available at Wageningen University and Research

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam is located in the city of Rotterdam, which is a port city in the south of the Netherlands. The city has a long maritime history, and is home to a large network of canals. A victim of WWII bombing, Rotterdam was almost completely reconstructed, and is known for its modern architecture.

The university offers many of its bachelor’s and masters degrees in the English language, catering to international students from all over the world. Erasmus also offers a large amount of support for their prospective international students, meaning you can be well prepared for your university journey.

See all courses available at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a public research university that was founded in 1880. It is located in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. Renowned for its excellent education and emphasis on social issues, the university offers a variety of English-taught programs, attracting students from across the globe. It fosters personal growth and social responsibility, providing a supportive academic environment.

Amsterdam, known for its cultural diversity and vibrant life, enhances the student experience with numerous opportunities for cultural immersion and professional networking. This makes VU Amsterdam a top choice for international students looking for a well-rounded educational and cultural experience in one of Europe’s most dynamic cities.

See all courses available at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

University of Twente (UT)

The University of Twente is situated in Enschede, a vibrant city in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Known for its scenic parks and a rich history in textiles, Enschede provides a unique backdrop for your university experience. The university campus, rebuilt and modernised over the decades, features contemporary architecture and expansive green spaces.

Offering a wide array of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, the university attracts a diverse international student body. Additionally, Twente provides extensive support to its international students, ensuring they are well-prepared for their educational journey.

See all courses available at the University of Twente

You can find more information about these universities, as well as other Dutch universities, and what it is like to study in the Netherlands as an international student on our Netherlands directory. There you will also find information about degrees and masters degrees in the Netherlands, how to apply for a student visa, and the most popular student cities in the Netherlands.

See all universities in the Netherlands.

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