This page contains information on the current financial circumstances for British students in the Netherlands. Obviously, the vote to leave the European Union will have an impact on the accuracy of this information. We will not speculate here on this page about changes we cannot know at this time. From time to time, we will post updates on our blog.
1. How Dutch Student Finance works?
Studying in the Netherlands is not free, nor is it necessarily cheap. We can confidently state that the price tag of a three year undergraduate degree will be roughly GBP 25, 000 cheaper than its equivalent in the United Kingdom for English students. However, this may not be what your British degree actually costs you. Student finance in England is now structured in such a way that you will be unlikely to know the true cost of your degree until 30 years after you graduate.
The biggest obstacle to studying in the Netherlands is often financial because even though the overall cost is usually much lower, you will not be eligible for British student loans and grants. As soon as you decide to study outside the United Kingdom, the British government stops helping you financially. The only exception to this is if you go abroad on an exchange from a British university – a great way to get international experience but not a great way to avoid British tuition fees.
We have revised this page to reflect the situation for students starting university in September 2015 or later. If you are already studying at a Dutch university you may find that the rules and allowances are different for you. In essence there has been no change to tuition fee loans (Collegegeldkrediet) but funding for living costs has changed quite dramatically. Most British or other EU students are ineligible for living cost loans but details of exceptions are listed below.
a. Help with tuition fees?
Because the European Union dictates that all EU citizens must be treated equally, British passport holders are automatically eligible for a tuition fee loan from the Dutch government. This is called Collegegeldkrediet. You don't have to apply for Collegegeldkrediet if you don’t need it and you can pay the fees upfront if you wish. Some universities charge higher tuition fees, specifically private universities and university colleges. In these cases you will be able to borrow the full amount if you are studying a Dutch accredited degree.
This loan is available to anyone with a British or other EU passport. It is not important where you are ordinarily resident.
There are some important conditions you need to meet but these are rarely an issue for British students. You must be under the age of 30 when you start your course*, you must have a Dutch bank account and you must have a Dutch "burgerservicenummer" (citizen service number) which you will only receive when you have a permanent address in the Netherlands.
*From September 2017 this will change. From then on tuition fee loans will be available to anyone under 55 years of age at the start of their course.