Top 5 Universities to apply to in the Netherlands

International students are increasingly interested in studying in the Netherlands, owing to the rising number of world-class Dutch universities that teach in English. In terms of the academic environment, teaching methods, and other important factors, some of the world’s universities and colleges are better at making students feel at home. Let’s look at the top 5 universities to apply to in the Netherlands.

World University Rank 2022Netherlands Rank 2022UniversityCity/town
531Wageningen University & ResearchWageningen
652University of AmsterdamAmsterdam
693Utrecht UniversityUtrecht
714Leiden UniversityLeiden
725Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdam
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Wageningen University & Research is regarded as one of the best institutions in the world for life sciences and social sciences. Wageningen is located in the center of the country, but it is not far from Amsterdam or the German border. Amongst the top 5 universities to apply to in the Netherlands, it specializes in agricultural and environmental science. Fewer than 14,000 students are pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional degrees. The majority of the undergraduate BSc programs are taught in a combination of Dutch and English, but approximately 40 undergraduate and postgraduate programs are taught entirely in English. Because of this, the university attracts a large number of international students – approximately 27% of students are from other countries. The university has 20 undergraduate programs in total, including courses in business, international development, and health sciences. At the master’s level, there are 37 programs available, all of which are taught in English. All courses are completed in two years.

With approximately 32,000 students enrolled, the University of Amsterdam is the country’s largest higher education institution. It was founded in 1632 and is the third oldest university in the Netherlands. It is the 15th best university in Europe. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of subjects, as well as a large number of English-taught master’s degrees and a few English-taught bachelor’s degrees.

  1. In addition to ranking in the top 100 of the World University Rankings, University of Amsterdam excels in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
  2. The university offers approximately 150 English-taught degrees and attracts over 3,000 international students from over 100 countries.
  3. The main campus is in the heart of Amsterdam, with university buildings scattered throughout the city, allowing for the integration of students and locals.
  4. Based on scientific publications and research funding, University of Amsterdam is one of Europe’s largest research universities.
  5. More than 4 million books, thousands of manuscripts, letters, maps, and rare works, are housed in the central library. There are also five museums at the university.
  • Utrecht University

Established in 1636, Utrecht University is another of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe. Utrecht University is ranked 124th in the world and thus sixth in the country. Approximately 30,000 students are currently enrolled across the university’s seven faculties, making it one of the largest universities in the Netherlands. The university claims 12 Nobel Prize laureates among its former students and staff, alongside 19 Spinoza Prize laureates.

  1. Students and staff from 118 different nationalities study and work at Utrecht University.
  2. Utrecht University offers over 90 postgraduates and 12 undergraduate programs. All programs are taught in English, and they cover a wide range of academic disciplines, including natural sciences, law, governance, life sciences, humanities, social sciences, and earth sciences.
  3. There are numerous student associations and clubs covering performing arts, sports, the arts, and various other interests at the university.
  • Leiden University

The oldest university in the Netherlands is Leiden University was founded in 1575 by William I, Prince of Orange, an ancestor of the Netherland’s monarchy and it maintains ties with members of the Dutch royal family, who often attend as students. It has approximately 26,900 students who study a wide range of subjects from bachelors to doctoral level. The university is home to more than 200 degrees taught in English and 40 research institutes and connections with many national and international leaders, including former US President John Adams, two NATO Secretary Generals, and 16 Nobel laureates.

  1. More than 200 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are taught in English.
  2. There are students from 100 countries among the 28,000-strong student body.

Despite its long history, Leiden University is not a closed institution. It is known for being innovative, and it has a distinct teaching style that emphasizes individual learning and group work.

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam was founded in 1913 as the Netherlands School of Commerce, and it changed its name several times before becoming Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1973. It is one of the top 5 universities to apply to in the Netherlands. It is a public university in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The university has seven faculties that focus on four areas: health, wealth, governance, and culture. Its title after Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, a 15th-century humanist and theologian. Among the university’s faculty members are Nobel laureate Jan Tinbergen and former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

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