Education University education

University education

Universities in the Netherlands are geared to scientific research and not so much to professional practice. That is why Dutch universities are called ‘research universities’ in other countries. The educational level is higher than the level of universities of applied sciences. Research universities offer some master’s degree programmes in English; education in the bachelor’s part is given in the Dutch language.

Chilling outside of college

Chilling outside of college


The Universities in and aroud the region

Previous education for a Bachelor’s degree

For the bachelor’s degree courses, your previous education must have at least the level of the Dutch pre-university education. Most secondary schools in west-European countries meet this requirement.

Students from countries outside Western Europe will often have to study another one or two years at a university in their own country before being admitted to a Dutch university. This is because the admission level of west-European universities is one to two years higher than most universities outside Western Europe.

Dutch students need a pre-university education certificate or a preliminary examination from a university of professional education (the first study year) in order to receive university education. If you are 21 or older, you can sit for an entrance examination, which is called colloquium doctum.

All students must have a profile or specialisation that is linked up with the degree programme they selected for their studies at an academy or university. The educational institute can tell you more about it.

Previous education for a Master's degree from a university

The entrance level for master’s degree programmes at west-European universities is relatively high. That is why your previous education must have at least the same level as the Dutch bachelor’s degree granted by a university geared to research [university education].

If you obtained a Bachelor’s degree in your own country from a university for higher vocational education or applied sciences, this qualification is usually equal to a Dutch higher vocational education. This does not mean that you will be automatically admitted to the Master’s part of the university. You must first complete a transition programme to increase your scientific knowledge.


All university Bachelor programmes are offered in the Dutch language. Students who do not speak Dutch will often need one year to earn one of the compulsory language diplomas: state examination NT2 (Dutch as a second language), Programme II, Professional Language Proficiency Profile [PPT], Higher Education Language Proficiency [PTHO] or University Level Language Proficiency Profile [PAT].
The Radboud in'to Languages organises various courses and language training courses to prepare you for this.

The Radboud University offers a large number of Master’s degree programmes in English. Click here  for an overview. You must do an English language test for these programmes, but this is not required if you have English as your mother tongue or if you come from one of the English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA or South Africa) and received your training in English.

If you studied three years at a Dutch university, it is assumed that you speak English adequately. If you graduated from a university of professional education, you must first take a language test.

The following tests are accepted:

The Radboud University prefers the IELTS. You must get at least grade 6.5 for being admitted to one of the Master’s degree programmes in English.

Selection by lot

Some universities or science universities have more applications than they can place. In this situation, admission is then selected by lot, whereby the system of weighted draws is often applied. This means that the higher average you have scored the better the chance that a place will be awarded to you. Prospective students with an average grade of 8 or higher for their final examinations are usually automatically awarded a place in your preferred programme. You can apply for one programme that decides admittance by lot. Which programmes are decided by lot varies every year.




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