Tuition Fees: 6 Essential Basics You Need to Know

One of the most popular reasons that students from around the world choose to study in the Netherlands is because of the relatively low tuition fees. Of course, ‘low’ is in comparison to other countries with courses in English. Compared to places like the US or the UK, Dutch tuition is pretty reasonable. In England, you might expect to pay a tuition fee of £9,250 a year, whereas in the Netherlands you would pay €2,087 (or around £1,854, as we are writing this). If that doesn’t impress you, we don’t know what will. Welcome to Tuition Fees 101, a class where you’ll learn all you need to know about studying in the Netherlands!

Image of tuition fees Netherlands

1. Statutory vs. institutional fees

Dutch university fees can be split into two categories: statutory and institutional fees. But what exactly does that mean? If you are a Dutch or EU/EEA national, you normally pay the statutory fee. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you already have an HBO or university bachelor/master’s degree from a Dutch university, you might need to pay the institutional fee. The same goes for if you are registering for two degrees at the same time. But, that being said, this varies within different programs and universities.

As if that wasn't enough, those eligible for the statutory fee have a reduced tuition fee for the first year of their bachelor's degree. That means that you'll only be paying €1,043 instead of €2,087!

The institutional fee, on the other hand, is normally paid by international students from outside the EU/EEA. The difference between the statutory and institutional fee is that the institutional fee is higher. More on that below!

2. Making your first tuition payment

One of the most important topics with regards to tuition is figuring out how you will transfer the initial amount. The total first amount you will transfer will depend on the interval you opt-in for (e.g. monthly, bi-monthly or a yearly instalment). Now, no matter the amount, it's important to keep in mind that traditional banks will take 3-5 days to transfer your amount and can charge substantial transaction & currency conversion fees (even some that might be hidden). When using Transferwise, you won't drop a sweat when sending your first tuition payment. Not only will your transfer be completed within 1-3 days, you will also be charged only a small fee and have a complete overview of all costs upfront.

3. Get your passport out!

Like in most countries, the amount of tuition fees you pay depends on your nationality. In this case, there’s a difference if you are from the EU/EEA or not. In 2019/20 the tuition fees for a student studying a bachelor degree with an EU/EEA nationality will be around €2,087 per academic year in most academic institutions. Whereas if you are an international, i.e. not from the EU/EEA, the tuition fees are around or over €8,000. This amount might change a bit every year, but should be around that price. This difference exists because EU fees are subsidized by the government, whereas fees for non-EU students aren’t. Private universities and university colleges might have higher tuition fees. For master or Ph.D. degrees, tuition fees are higher, as well as for degrees within medicine.

4. Pay in two ways

In Holland, you can pay in one of two ways. Nice, right? In most universities, you have the choice to pay the full tuition fee upfront in one go, or in installments. This might soothe your soul if you are worried about having the complete fee at the start of the year or can’t pay upfront. This also means you can apply for student financing at the start of the term! Usually, this is all done through direct debit, though you might be offered other choices depending on your personal situation or the amount of tuition you pay.

Image of student and tuition fees

5. Student financing for tuition fees

Did someone mention student finance? Yes, as a student in the Netherlands you can apply for student financing to help cover your tuition fees! If you are an EU/EEA student and pay the statutory fee, you can receive student financing to cover your tuition costs. Same goes for international students from outside the EU paying institutional fees. To receive student financing, you have to meet certain criteria and fit the requirements. You might also be able to apply for the supplementary grant, which depends on your parents' income. And, as icing on top of the cake, each student that receives student finance can also get the student travel product. What that translates to is free public transport throughout Holland! Student finance definitely has its benefits…

6. But where’s your money going?

After all this talk about Dutch tuition fees, you might be wondering, ‘where does all my money go?' When you step off the plane for the first time and make your way to your new home, you won’t have to look far to find the answer. Dutch universities have been praised for their modern and innovative educational approach, as well as their up-to-date facilities. This means that tech, teaching materials, and even buildings are shiny and new, just for you. Dutch universities also place heavy interest in group work. You’ll notice a lot of rooms for individual or group study!

 

Your lesson on tuition fees has now come to an end, but don’t forget to review your notes! With these 5 nuggets of wisdom, you are sure to become a tuition fee expert in no time. Now get to studying…

Do you have any more essential knowledge about tuition fees? Let us know in the comments!

Showing 37 comments
  • Tina
    Reply

    Hi, I am finishing bachelor degree in Croatia, and I would like to apply for master in Amsterdam. I am a EU citizen, so what will I need to pay. Statuary or institutional?

    • nali

      Hi Tina!

      Thank you for your message.

      Our mission at College Life is to make your life easier. For this purpose we’ve created a complete guide on the topic of study finance that you can refer to with questions about student financing.

      As an EU citizen, you are entitled to pay the statutory fee. However, this is dependent on several factors. We recommend you to visit the DUO website to determine your eligibility for paying the statutory fee, and for more detailed information contact them directly.

      Wishing you all the best!

      Nali.

  • Manoela
    Reply

    Hi! I’m planning on applying for a Dutch university but I can’t figure out if it’s the statuatory or the institutional fee for me: I am brazillian but I have a Portuguese citizenship, meaning i fall under the EEA category. But I will apply after I complete a Bachelor’s degree here in Brazil – does this mean I have to pay the institutional fee? Or that’s only for a previous Dutch diploma?

    • nali

      Hi Manoela!

      Thank you for your message.

      DUO determines the requirements for tuition fee payment for students as well as your eligibility for paying either the statutory fee or the institutional fee. Your personal situation & circumstances are unique and therefore it is difficult for me to give you an accurate answer since I have incomplete information about your situation. I recommend you to visit the DUO website for more detailed information, and furthermore contact your prospective university directly and ask the student advisors for assistance as well. I suggest you proceed ASAP as your eligibility may be pursuant to change depending on the date of completion for your current bachelor program.

      Wishing you all the best!

      Nali

  • Abiola
    Reply

    Hi,

    I completed my First Master’s degree in a Dutch Institution (as an international student), which means i paid the institutional fee. Now, I am a Dutch citizen, and i am planning to go for my second Master’s degree. What tuition fee do you think is applicable in my case?

    • nali

      Hi Abiola!

      When acquiring your second degree, tuition fee rules differ according to various factors (eg. are you still currently enrolled, are you going to be studying at the same institution and many more). We recommend you contact both the finance office and the student advisors at your university, and also visit the DUO website to determine your eligibility for studiefinanciering.

      Wishing you all the best!
      Nali

  • Nelly
    Reply

    Hello.I am an international student at Tilburg University.I found the institutional fee to be 8,900 yet on studylink the amount due is mentioned to be 15,630 for the first year which came to me as quiet a surprise. Can someone guide me if an international student should pay for both institution as well as statutory fee?!

    • nali

      Hi Nelly!

      As an international student, if you are a non EU/EEA citizen, you are eligible to pay the institutional fee. It should also be noted that for first year students, there are also other and financial obligations to be paid to the IND, on top of tuition fees, that may be accounted for in your initial payment to your University. Furthermore, the institutional fee differs for a Masters Program, and a Bachelors Program, and moreover, institutional fees vary from faculty to faculty. According to Tilburg University website, the institutional fee for global law is 15.100,00/annum compared to theology which is 2.220,00/annum. Tilburg University determines their faculty fee structure and the IND and DUO determine your eligibility for statutory or institutional rates. Your personal situation & circumstances are unique and therefore it is difficult for me to give you an accurate answer since I have incomplete information about your situation. I recommend you to contact the finance office as well as the international students office at Tilburg University, and further visit the DUO website of [government body] for more detailed information and contact them directly.

      Wishing you all the best!

      Nali

  • Sofia
    Reply

    I am a EU National and I got my bachelor’s degree in Spain so now I would like to study a Master’s degree which is around 2000 euros. Is it recommended to apply for the loan? because I feel like then I would have to pay even more. I am a bit confused about it.
    thank you.

    • nali

      Hello Sofia!

      As an EU citizen, you can assess your eligibility for studiefinanciering on the DUO website. Your decision to apply for a loan should be based on your eligibility, and your personal situation & circumstances. I recommend you visit the DUO website for more detailed information. Keep in mind there are different components to loans and the resources on the DUO website will help you fully understand how studiefinanciering works.

      Wishing you all the best!

      Kind regards,
      Nali.

  • Drishti
    Reply

    Hi. Im a non- EU/EEA applying at UvA. If i choose to pay by credit card, do i get to pay in instalments or do i have to pay in one go?

    • nali

      Hello Drishti!

      The payment plans for your university are determined through your Studielink account (which only you have access to). Kindly check your Studielink account to determine whether installment payments are permitted through credit cards. We advise that you also get a debit bank account with an IBAN from a Dutch bank, as the Dutch banking system relies heavily on debit systems. While paying via credit card is still possible, you will find it much easier to navigate with a local debit card.

      Wishing you all the best!
      Nali

  • John
    Reply

    Hi.
    My partner is a Dutch citizen and I am from a non-EU/EEA country. I have a residence permit without limitations to work but I do not have citizenship. Would I qualify for the statuary fee?

    • mashal

      Hi John,
      In some cases, depending on the exact type of your residence permit you may qualify for statutory fee. Would advise to check and confirm with the IND directly as they can guide you better about your specific case.
      Best,
      -m

  • Lassse
    Reply

    Hi,

    I have am graduating from Leiden University with a bachelors in Philosophy this summer. After this, I would like to start a Masters degree in Education at Groningen University or Erasmus Rotterdam. Considering that I am an EU national, will I have to pay the statutory or Institutional fees?

    Best

    • mashal

      Hey Lasse,
      As an EU student you will be paying the statutory fee.
      Best,
      -m

  • paola
    Reply

    Do I need to ask for each program how much is the institutional fee? because it is not written in the pages of the university

    • mashal

      Hi Paola,
      Usually there will be section about tuition fees on the website of the university. Incase you do not find it, you can email the university and the will be able to send you an overview of all programs and relative fees.
      Hope this helps,
      -M

  • Sergiu
    Reply

    Hello, can you explain if EU/EEA national requires also residence in a EU/EEA country.
    If I have a EU citizenship but live in non EU country, do I have to pay institutional fees?
    Thank you

    • mashal

      Hi Sergiu,
      As an EU national (even if not living in EU), you will be paying the statutory tuition fees.
      Hope this helps,
      -M

  • Julia
    Reply

    Hi, can i opt to pay the institutional fee mothly in all universities? I ask that because searching on Leiden’s website I only found bi-monthly paying dates.

    • mashal

      Hi Julia,

      You can choose to pay the fees in installments (bi-monthly in this case) or at once. You can select this option through Studielink.
      You can discuss the possibility of monthly payment options with your institution directly.
      Hope this helps,
      -M

  • Adam
    Reply

    I have lived in the UAE for 18 years, however i am a British national with a British passport. Does this mean i would have to pay statutory or institutional?

    • mashal

      Hi Adam,
      Unfortunately we can not give you a specific answer, as this will depend on your visa status when coming to the Netherlands.
      The Dutch government’s own website states that “British nationals who come to the Netherlands after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and wish to commence studies will be viewed as third-country nationals, []. The type of residence permit they hold will determine whether they are entitled to student finance and whether they pay statutory tuition fees or institutional fees.”
      So please do check with the immigration authority about your status.

      Hope this helps,
      -M

  • Michael
    Reply

    Hi, I’m currently a non-EU student doing my bachelor’s degree in a Dutch University. I am paying the institutional fee at the moment, but in 2 years I am going to apply for citizenship in the Netherlands. Is there a way for me to reclaim the subsidies I missed out on as a non-EU student if I become a Dutch citizen?

    • mashal

      Hi Michael,
      Unfortunately we can not provide a concrete answer to your question. Would suggest to confirm this with the IND directly.
      Best,
      -M

  • Zuzanna
    Reply

    Hi! I’m going into my 4th year at the conservatory of Amsterdam. I am thinking about applying for a second bachelor’s degree at UvA or VU. Will I pay normal fees or the higher ones?

    • mashal

      Hi Zuzanna,
      Your tuition fees depend on whether you are an EU or non-EU national. As a non-EU nation you will have to pay the institutional fees.
      Hope this helps,
      -M

  • Michael
    Reply

    Hi ! I have a bachelor degree not granted from a dutch university, however, I am an EU national. Which tuition fees( Statutory vs. institutional fees) would apply for a second bachelor degree ?
    Thank you

    • Kristian

      Hi Michael,

      Great question. If you would like to start a second bachelor’s or master’s programme after completing your first degree at a Dutch higher education institution, you will be required to pay the higher, institutional tuition fee. The exact amount of this fee depends on the university you decide to study at & the programme that you’ll be enrolling in.

      Hope this helps,
      -K

  • Jessica Grace Mulyadi
    Reply

    Hi what are the fees for IMFA ? I’m still confused is the institution tuition fees payed monthly, per semester or per year ??

    • Kristian

      Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for your question. What do you mean by IMFA?

  • Ben
    Reply

    Is this some sort of joke?

    The Institutional fees is already 4 or more times more than the statuary fees and you’re halving the statuary fees only!! This doesn’t make sense at all, they should reduce both the statuary and the instituational fees (Honestly, the statuary fees shouldn’t even be halved since it’s already so low).

    This is absolutely pathetic!

  • Andrada
    Reply

    Hi! After I apply for the student finance (only for the tuition fee) I won’t get all the money in one transfer, so that means that I have to arrange with the university and pay them in instalments? And pay them as I receive the money from the government? I am asking this because I haven’t seen this kind of explanation anywhere. I was troubled since my first year was only 1048 euros and by the august of 2020 when I will need to pay the university that is the money that I will have. So, this means I will only have half of the money that I will need to pay since the second year is at least double as the first one.

    • Kristian

      Hi Andrada,

      That’s correct – you have to arrange paying in installments with your university, since DUO will also pay you in installments. Even if you receive your first installment from DUO too late, you still have to pay your university on time. This means that sometimes you might have to pay the first installment yourself.

  • Rupal Dani
    Reply

    What are the exact fees of BA archeology at Leiden university.

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