scholarships to study abroad
International students can apply to some Dutch scholarships that don't require IELTS. Source: Aurore Belot/AFP

When one thinks of the Netherlands, these are a few things that come to mind – scholarships to study abroad, internationally-recognised degree programmes and top-notch education systems. The country has also become an increasingly popular international student destination with one in every four first-years at Dutch universities being a non-domestic student. 

According to a report by the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education, Nuffic, there are currently 115,068 international students in the Netherlands in the 2021/2022 academic year alone. These numbers amount to a 12% increase from last year. Though the report suggests that Brexit changes have affected international demographics, the Netherlands still remains a popular student population. 

Are you looking to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD in the Netherlands? Check out these four Dutch scholarships to study abroad without IELTS for international students: 

Maastricht University Holland-High Potential scholarship

The first on the list of IELTS-free scholarships to study abroad in the Netherlands is the Maastricht University Holland-High Potential scholarship. Funded by the Maastricht University Scholarship Fund and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, this is both a university and government-awarded scholarship aimed at international students from outside the EU or European Economic Area (EEA).

A total of 24 full scholarships worth 30,000 euros (including tuition fee waiver and a monthly stipend) each academic year are available for non-EU students who are admitted to a master’s programme at UM. Applicants can choose between a one-year (13 months) or two-year (25 months) programme duration. 

Faculty selections will be finalised in March 2023. Read here to find out if you’re eligible for this Dutch scholarship.  

Erasmus University Holland Scholarship

Similar to Maastricht University Holland-High Potential scholarship, the Erasmus University Holland Scholarship is also a university/government scholarship. Financed by Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the scholarship is meant for international students from outside the EU/EEA who intend to pursue their bachelor’s or master’s in Holland.

To be eligible, students have to be enrolled full-time in either a bachelor’s or master’s programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The total amount of the grant or scholarship is either 5,000 euros, 10,000 euros or 15,000 euros but the exact amount is to be decided by the faculty. 

Do note that application deadlines differ for each faculty, so it’s always best to check with the respective department to avoid missed applications. This is among the best scholarships to study abroad to consider applying for.

Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS)

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS) is a high achievers scholarship awarded to those who are amongst the top 10% of graduates in their previous study programme. While the scholarship is mainly open to non-EU and non-European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) students, UK applicants can now apply for this scholarship. 

The scholarship has exceptions for all LLM Advanced Studies programmes and the MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy, where no nationality restrictions apply. This means that all students in the EU, not restricted to non-EU or non-EFTA, can apply. 

However, it will only be awarded to those pursuing a master’s degree at Leiden University. Other faculties offering this scholarship include Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science, African Studies Centre and International Institute for Asian Studies.

TU Delft Excellence Scholarship Netherlands

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) offers six scholarships.

Among them are the Fulbright Scholarship, Justus & Lousie van Effen Scholarship, QuTech Scholarship, Faculty Scholarship (offered under two separate faculties – Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science and Industrial Design Engineering or Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, Policy and Management) and Holland Scholarship

Again, each of these scholarships have their own requirements and deadlines. The deadlines fall either on Dec. 1, 2022, or Feb. 1, 2023. 

Though this is one of the options for scholarships to study abroad in the Netherlands without IELTS, you are still required to show proof of your English proficiency through other certifications.