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The Dutch education system may be different from what you are used to. These resources can get you started in Dutch education for children and adults, free courses, and how to continue your studies in the Netherlands.

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Last updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2022

If you are older than 18, it is no longer compulsory to go to school. Only if you do not have a job and apply for benefits, you can be obliged to obtain a diploma until you are 27. You are only eligible for many professions if you have obtained certain diplomas.

Can I study in the Netherlands?

Refugees from Ukraine are allowed to study in the Netherlands, but there are often conditions for doing so. An educational institute may have specific requirements that you have to meet before you can start your studies. It is possible that your Ukrainian diploma is not enough to get you admitted immediately. Have you found a course of study that interests you? Please contact the educational institute for more information about additional requirements and your admissibility.

Vocational education & University

Depending on the secondary school you attended, you can continue studying in the Netherlands. Again, there are three educational levels:

  • Senior secondary vocational education (MBO), for those with a VBMO diploma

  • Higher professional education (HBO), for those with a HAVO diploma

  • University/Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (WO), for those with a VWO diploma.

College tuition reduction

Dutch universities and colleges of higher education have reduced the tuition fees for the current academic year for refugee students from Ukraine. The amount that students now have to pay is €2,209, the legal minimum. The government has not yet made a decision for the coming academic year. On the website Universities of the Netherlands you will find more information and links to the websites of all universities in the Netherlands. There you can see what extra help and opportunities they can offer you. On the website of the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, you can find more information about how this is arranged at the universities of applied sciences.

Studies in English on MBO- and HBO-level

There are a number of options at MBO and HBO level to follow a course (partially) in English. On the website of Nuffic (only in Dutch) you can find an overview of MBO-studies in English. On the website of studiekeuze123 (only in Dutch) you can filter for English studies on MBO 4-, HBO- and WO-level.

Information desk for refugee students

Nuffic has opened the information desk Study in Holland for refugee students from Ukraine. Students can go there with questions about finances, registration and other subjects. More information can be found via the link below.

IELTS preparation course

As of today, the UAF offers the possibility for refugee students from Ukraine (both Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians) to follow an English language course in order to meet the requirements for universities or higher education institutions in the Netherlands. It concerns an intensive course of about 60 hours during two weeks, in preparation of the IELTS exam. The UAF covers the costs of the course, the study material, the exam, and (once only) the travel expenses to and from the exam. The criteria to participate are:

  • Proof of (conditional) admission to an educational institution

  • English level of B1+/B2

  • An indication of the IELTS level required for admission to the educational establishment

  • Proof that you are covered by the Temporary Protection Directive

Check the UAF website on how to apply.

Summer schools

The Summerschools in Europe website provdes an overview of summer school opportunities at various universities in Europe for students from Utrecht.