Thu. Jul 18th, 2024


The Netherlands hosts approximately 90,000 international students and this number is increasing every year. It’s a great destination for students looking for a world-class, student-centered education in a country open to diversity at all levels. That’s why the Netherlands is home to more than 200 nationalities and the second-highest ranked in terms of English proficiency in continental Europe, after Sweden. The best universities in the Netherlands offer several study programs in English. Here’s our list of the 10 most prestigious among them.

Wageningen University and Research

Wageningen University and Research - top Netherlands universities

First on our list of the best universities in the Netherlands is Wageningen University and Research, a unique institution in the Netherlands to focus particularly on healthy food and living environment. The institution then targets mostly students who want to study life science.

Wageningen University’s origins date back to 1876, as it opens its door as a national agricultural college in the Netherlands. It’s located in Wageningen and is among the 100 best universities in the QS world university rankings. Wageningen University and Research also has won its rightful place among the top institutions in the world when it comes to agriculture, animals, environment, food and plants studies.

Lastly, Wageningen University and Research hosts 27% of international students and offers 6 programs taught in English.

University of Amsterdam

University of Amsterdam - best universities in Netherlands

Next in our list of the best universities of the Netherlands is also the #1 Dutch university in Europe in terms of teaching. The University of Amsterdam has almost 400 years of history (it was founded in 1632) behind it. It specializes in the fields of Economics and Business for more than 100 years. The university is divided into 2 Schools: the Amsterdam Business School (ABS) and the Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE).


The University of Amsterdam offers more than 200 degree programs in English, which is more than many universities in Europe offer. But it’s no surprise since it’s located in a city where English is the second language spoken. Moreover, the institution is a member of the Universitas 21 network as well as the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Furthermore, the university hosts over 7,000 international students, coming from more than 100 countries.

Utrecht University

Utrecht University Netherlands

Utrecht University (UU) is the third on our list, a public institution which came into existence in 1636. Located in Utrecht, a city in the south of Amsterdam, the institution has 4 campus throughout the city. UU is also one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and welcomes around 30,000 students.

Moreover, Utrecht University consists of 7 faculties including geosciences; humanities; law, economics and governance; medicine; social and behavioral sciences; as well as veterinary medicine and science. The institution also have research institutes such as the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research.

Lastly, the language of instruction is Dutch, though the university of Utrecht offers more than 80 masters’ degree programs in English.

Delft University of Technology

Utrecht University Netherlands

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is fourth in our top universities in the Netherlands. It also belongs to the top 20 universities in Europe. The institution also ranks in the 100 best universities in the world, making it one of the best places to get training as an engineer. Another thing that stands out with this university of technology is that all their master’s degree programs are taught in English.

TU Delft was founded in 1842 and gained the university status in 1986. It’s the oldest and largest university of technology in the Netherlands. Moreover, the institution hosts about 20,000 students with more than 30% of them being international students. TU Delft also has 8 faculties offering 16 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate programs in design, engineering, and science.

University of Groningen

University of Groningen Netherlands

Another public institution in the Netherlands, the University of Groningen came into existence in 1614. Being also one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, the institution is located around 115 miles northeast of Amsterdam. Moreover, the University of Groningen has 2 campuses in two popular student cities in the north of the country.


It also ranks consistently among the top 100 universities in the world, like a few other institutions in the Netherlands. Hosting approximately 30,000 students with over 9,000 of them being international ones, Groningen University offers more than 180 English-taught programs, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The university also stands out through their achievement in the field of academic research having established partnership with research institutions from all over the world. This also gives students from Groningen the opportunity to earn part of their degree abroad.

Leiden University

Leiden University

The fifth institution in our list of the best universities in the Netherlands is another high-profile research university in Europe. Leiden University was the very first university to be established in the Netherlands, since it was founded in 1575. It’s located in the city of Leiden, with a campus a few miles away in The Hague.

The institution’s teaching focuses on individual attention to students, innovative teaching methods as well as culture diversity. Leiden University includes 7 faculties: archaeology, humanities, law, medicine, governance and global affairs, science and social and behavioral science. The language of instruction at the undergraduate level is Dutch while most graduate programs are taught in English.

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Next in our list of the best universities in Netherlands is an international university which main campus is in the vibrant city of Rotterdam. Its roots date back to 1913 when the university was still the Netherlands School of Commerce. The institution came into existence in 1973 through the merger of the Medical Faculty Rotterdam and the Netherlands School of Economics.

Erasmus University includes 7 faculties: economics, history, culture and communication; law; management; medicine; philosophy and social science. It also has 3 institutes: Institute of Health Policy and Management, International Institute of Social Studies and Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies. Moreover, the institution has a student population of almost 40,000 with more than 6,700 of them being international students.

Furthermore, the language of instruction is Dutch, but the university offers some undergraduate and graduate level programs in English. This includes a master’s program in strategic entrepreneurship and an international MBA course.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Next in our list is Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam), which came into being in 1880. The institution is located in the most multicultural cities in the world and the one with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands. Therefor among its student population of more than 26,000 students, more than 4,000 of them are international from 122 nationalities.

The university stands out in research and education, through 4 main topics: Connected World, Governance for Society, Health and Life Sciences and Science for Sustainability. The institution’s strength lays in its emphasis on diversity as source of innovation and progress. Like the University of Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam offers a handful of English-taught programs (more than 175 of them) at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels.

Radboud University

Radboud University

Radboud University in Nijmegen came into existence in 1923 with a longstanding tradition of quality education and first-class research. It’s an institution which has gained international recognition throughout the years and ambitions to be one of the best universities in Europe. Putting then an emphasis on developing this international profile, the university offers more than 35 master’s programs in English in 11 disciplines.

Moreover, the other area of focus of the university is on the diversity of its programs, that range from international law to neuroscience to particle physics and more.

Maastricht University Netherlands
The last institution in our top universities in the Netherlands is also the most international university in the country. Maastricht University (UM) is also a pretty young institution since it was established in 1976. It counts approximately 22,000 students with nearly 50% of them being international students.

It distinguishes itself through its innovative, internationally-focused and multidisciplinary approach to education and research.



By Lala