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Universities in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Utrecht houses and canal
Utrecht is home to traditional Dutch architecture and canals.

Utrecht, popularly known as the ‘beating heart of the Netherlands’, is the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of nearly 350,000 residents and a history of almost two thousand years! Utrecht is popular as a student city, home to nearly 5,000 international students out of its total student population of over 40,000.

Situated just half an hour away from major Dutch cities including Amsterdam and The Hague, Utrecht is an excellent city for international students to complete a world-class degree while also seeking work opportunities at the world-leading firms which operate in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is well-known as a welcoming, immigrant-friendly country with vibrant and cosmopolitan cities where international students always feel at home. As well as this, the country is fast becoming a hub for world-class academics and post-graduation employment opportunities.

Top Universities in Utrecht

Utrecht is a popular destination for international students looking to study in the Netherlands. The city is home to several highly ranked universities that offer a wide range of programs and attract students from all over the world.

Utrecht University

With over 30,000 students, Utrecht University is the largest university in the city. It’s located in the heart of Utrecht and has several campuses across the city. The university is known for its research programs and has a strong reputation in fields such as law, medicine, and humanities. Utrecht University also has a large international student population, with students from over 120 countries.

HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

The HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht is a smaller university with a student population of around 35,000. It’s located in the city centre and has several campuses throughout the city. The university is known for its applied sciences programs, including engineering, healthcare, and teacher education. It also has a large international student population, with students from over 80 countries.

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht

The HKU University of the Arts Utrecht is a specialised university that focuses on creative and performing arts. It has a student population of around 4,000 and is located in the city centre. The university has several campuses throughout the city, including a new campus that opened in 2020. The HKU University of the Arts Utrecht attracts students from all over the world who are interested in pursuing a career in the arts.

University of Humanistic Studies

The University of Humanistic Studies is a small university with a student population of around 500. It’s located in the city centre and is known for its programs in philosophy and humanistic studies. The university has a diverse student population, with students from several countries.

Overall, Utrecht is a great place to study for both Dutch and international students. The universities in the city offer a wide range of programs, have diverse student populations, and are located in different areas of the city. Students who choose to study in Utrecht will have access to a vibrant student life, a rich cultural scene, and a variety of resources and opportunities to support their academic and personal growth.

Utrecht Universities World Ranking 2023

Below are the top-ranked Utrecht universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2023 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2023 Rankings.

UniversityQS World Rank 2023Times Higher Education Rank 2023QS Rank in the NetherlandsTHE Rank in the Netherlands
Utrecht University1106933

Tuition and Living Costs

When it comes to tuition fees, international students can expect to pay higher fees than domestic or EU students. However, the exact amount varies depending on the institution and the program of study. For example, the tuition fees for a Bachelor’s degree in Utrecht can range from €8,000 to €20,000 per year, while a Master’s degree can cost between €10,000 and €25,000 per year. It’s important to note that scholarships and other forms of financial aid are available to help offset these costs.

In addition to tuition fees, international students must also factor in living expenses when studying in Utrecht. The cost of living in Utrecht is generally considered to be lower than in Amsterdam, but it is still important to plan and budget accordingly. On average, students can expect to spend between €800 and €1,200 per month on accommodation, food, transportation, and other basic expenses.

Despite the costs, Utrecht remains a highly sought-after destination for international students looking to further their education. With universities and a welcoming and inclusive community, Utrecht offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a world-class academic environment while also experiencing the vibrant Dutch culture.

Life in Utrecht for International Students

Utrecht, a charming Dutch city known for its rich cultural history and stunning architecture, has a lot to offer international students looking to explore the city’s many cultural attractions. Utrecht offers a wide range of activities for you to enjoy away from the classroom, from sightseeing tours of the city and nearby cities like Rotterdam to adventure-filled hikes and treks in the nearby countryside.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, situated just 30 minutes away from Utrecht, is a huge international airport which connects you to all major travel destinations in Europe and worldwide.

Here are the top seven cultural attractions in Utrecht:

  • Dom Tower: At 112 metres high, the Dom Tower is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a breathtaking view of the city.
  • Rietveld Schröder House: Designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1924, the Rietveld Schröder House is an iconic example of the De Stijl art movement. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for design enthusiasts.
  • Centraal Museum: This museum is home to an extensive collection of art and artefacts from Utrecht’s history, including works by Dutch masters like Rietveld and Dick Bruna.
  • Nijntje Museum: For fans of Dick Bruna’s beloved children’s book character Miffy (or “Nijntje” in Dutch), the Nijntje Museum is a must-visit. It features interactive exhibits and displays about the author and his famous creation.
  • Museum Catharijneconvent: This museum is dedicated to the art and history of Christian culture in the Netherlands, with a particular focus on Utrecht’s religious heritage.
  • Utrecht Botanic Gardens: The botanical gardens at Utrecht University are a serene oasis in the heart of the city. With over 6,000 different plant species, it is a great place for a peaceful stroll.
  • The Oudegracht: The Oudegracht is a series of canals that run through the heart of the city. It is a popular spot for a leisurely boat ride or a stroll along the water’s edge, and offers stunning views of Utrecht’s historic architecture.

These attractions in Utrecht are just a few of the many things international students can enjoy during their time in the city. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-class museums and galleries, Utrecht is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

See all universities in the Netherlands.

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