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Scholarships in Netherlands for Indian Students

Updated on 16 November, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

With the 4th best education system in the world, the Netherlands has become an attractive destination for international students. However, pursuing higher studies can be financially demanding. To navigate this, Indian students can opt for scholarships that offer opportunities to manage tuition fees and living expenses. This blog encapsulates the scholarships for the Netherlands that Indian students can leverage.

Netherlands Government Scholarship

NL Scholarship 

The NL Scholarship (formerly referred to as the Holland Scholarship) is a popular option for Indian students planning to pursue a bachelor's or a master's degree. This Netherlands government scholarship is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, as well as many Dutch research universities & universities of applied sciences.

Benefit(s):- €5,000, €10,000, and €15,000 (will be received in the first year of studies, and it is not a full-tuition scholarship)

Duration: 1 Year

Tentative Application Form Release Date: For the academic year 2023–2024, the applications are closed. However, for the next academic year (2024–2025), students can start applying from November 2023. And submit their application by 1 December.


  1. You should not be from a European Economic Area (EEA) country.
  2. You are seeking admission to a full-time bachelor's or master's program at a Dutch higher education institution that participates in the scholarship program.
  3. You satisfy the particular requirements set by your chosen institution, which you can tally on the institution's official website.
  4. You have not obtained a degree from a Dutch educational institution.

How to Apply

Select a program. Verify if it's listed among the colleges that offer the Holland Scholarship program.

  1. Proceed with the registration process after reviewing the specific admission requirements on the university’s website.
  2. Finish filling out the scholarship application. 
  3. After receiving admission confirmation (which varies depending on the university; candidates should verify the precise requirements before submitting), complete the scholarship application.
  4. Send in the necessary paperwork.

Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (now Erasmus+) 

This fully-funded scholarship is available for Indian students who want to study in a joint master's program offered by a consortium of European universities, including Dutch universities. The list of master’s and joint master’s degrees sponsored are updated every year.

Benefit(s): 100% tuition waiver, travel allowance, airfare for traveling to Europe, and living allowance of the applicant are covered.

Deadline: 26th January 2024


  1. The applicant should be an Indian national.
  2. Should not have stayed for more than 12 months in any eligible European country over the last five years at the time of application submission.
  3. Aspirants should meet minimum English language criteria in an internationally acknowledged test of English proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS).
  4. Bachelor’s degree with recognized credentials. Applicants must have 180 credits or 180 ECTS or equivalent in their first degree.
  5. Should not have received any similar scholarship under the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project.
  6. Excellent academic record and relevant work experience.

How to Apply:

Apart from understanding the eligibility criteria, you should also be cognizant of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship application process

University-Offered Scholarships 

Amsterdam Merit Scholarships

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) seeks to attract the brightest students worldwide for their master’s courses. The university offers three scholarships to outstanding students from outside the European Union (EU)/EEA, with Amsterdam Merit Scholarships being one of the most popular. The applicant will be awarded between €2,000 and €25,000 when applying for a master’s degree. Whereas for eligible bachelor’s degrees, applicants will only be nominated if their selection test score belongs to the best 10%.

Application processes and deadlines vary depending on the master’s degree. 

Benefits for Various Master's Degrees

  1. Child Development and Education (benefits vary between €2,000 and €12,000)
  2. Communication Sciences [covers (a part of) the tuition fee]
  3. Economics and Business (equal to the tuition fee + €5,000 additional allowance)
  4. Law (the amount available for academic year 2023–2024 is yet to be announced)
  5. Medicine (€4,000 or a proportional amount if you start the program in February)
  6. Psychology (covers part of the tuition fee)
  7. Science (equal to tuition fee)
  8. Social Sciences (equal to the tuition fee)
  9. Humanities (€25,000)


Students who wish to get the master's scholarship in the Netherlands must hold a non-EU/EEA passport and have applied for a degree program at the University of Amsterdam.

How to Apply:

The students must send their applications to the Admissions Offices of the UvA Graduate Schools. However, the application process varies according to the respective Faculty or Graduate School.

VU Fellowship Program 

The VU Fellowship Program (VUFP) provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for bright potential non-EU/EEA students to pursue a master's degree in the Netherlands. Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam is committed to investing about one million euros in attracting highly motivated and talented students via this scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Applicants should have a non-EU/EEA passport and should not be eligible for lower tuition fees.
  2. They should not be Dutch nationals.
  3. They must demonstrate their academic achievement (GPA comparable to a Dutch 8).
  4. They have been conditionally or unconditionally admitted to the first year of a full-time English-taught master's degree beginning in September 2024 at VU Amsterdam.

Note: a) Students starting in February are not eligible to apply, and combined studies where VU Amsterdam does not oversee the admission procedure are not eligible for VUFP.

b) They are not required to complete a preparation curriculum before beginning a master's degree.

Duration: The VUFP scholarship can cover either a one-year or a two-year master's program. If you're pursuing a two-year master's program, the scholarship's extension for the second year is contingent on completing 100% of the ECTS requirements in the first year.

Benefit: The VUFP scholarship covers the tuition fees only.

How to Apply:

  1. Register for a master's program by 1st October 2023 and ensure conditional admission before applying for the VUFP scholarship. The advised program application deadline is 1st December 2023.
  2. Applicants should start submitting their VUFP application from 1st November 2023. They can apply for only one master's program. The application deadline is 1st February 2024.
  3. GPA proof/program transcript and grading scale explanation in a PDF file should be included when applying for the scholarship. Ensure to answer all questions to avoid an incomplete application.

NOTE: Once offered the scholarship, selected candidates accept or decline it in their personal VU dashboard by the end of March 2024, two weeks after the results are published.

Applicants should also know that the Central VUFP Committee evaluates applications based on academic performance and motivation, with results expected by mid-March 2024, six weeks after the application deadline.

Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS)

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship is another Netherlands scholarship for Indian students who wish to pursue a full-time Leiden University master's degree – except for LLM (non-advanced) and MSc programs at Leiden Law School.


The LExS is granted for the duration of the program of study. There are three reward levels available:

  1. €10,000 of the tuition fees.
  2. € 15,000 of the tuition fees.
  3. Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fees.


  1. Applicants should have demonstrated outstanding academic performance in their prior academic endeavors.
  2. Their previous study program(s) should be directly related to the master's program they are applying for.
  3. As a rough guideline, applicants should fall within the top 10% of graduates in their previous study program.
  4. Importantly, no formal proof of ranking is necessary; this information is used solely to gauge the level of competition.

How to Apply:

  1. Apply online for admission to a master's program at Leiden University and pay the application fee if required.
  2. Keep in mind that creating and submitting an admission application may take up to 2 days, so start the process well ahead of the LExS deadline.
  3. After submitting your admission application, return to the online application portal and navigate to the Scholarships section.
  4. Check if you're eligible for the LExS scholarship; it will be visible in the Scholarships section.
  5. If the LExS scholarship is available, indicate your intention to apply and upload a PDF motivation letter of up to 500 words explaining why you should be considered for the award.
  6. Submit your scholarship application before the LExS deadline, keeping in mind that you won't be able to make further changes or send additional items by email after submission.
  7. If you're applying for multiple study programs and wish to apply for a LExS scholarship for each, submit a separate LExS application and motivation letter within each online admission application.

Orange Tulip Scholarship

The Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) program provides a Netherlands scholarship for Indian students. It is awarded to students with impeccable performance in several Netherlands Education Support Offices(Neso) countries the opportunity to study in the Netherlands. In fact, ⁓50 Orange Tulip Scholarships are awarded annually to Indian students. 

Amount:- The value of the scholarships varies depending on the university. It may be 100% of the total fees, 50%, or even 25% of the tuition fees. The scholarship allows 100% waiver for one year.

Eligibility Criteria 

  1. Applicants must be of Indian origin.
  2. They must have graduated from a non-Dutch university.
  3. They should have performed excellently in their bachelor's (or master's) program.
  4. They must be applying for or have been admitted to a one-year master's program at Tilburg University. 
  5. They should have never studied or worked in the Netherlands before. 

How to Apply:

Applicants are required to complete the entire application procedure online. Interested candidates should submit all the relevant documents on the Neso India page. Get an in-depth understanding of how to apply for an Orange Tulip Scholarship. 

Avail scholarship for Netherlands to forge a successful career abroad. Now, studying abroad would no more be a far-fetched dream for you. Contact our counselor and learn more about affordable study options & cost of living in the Netherlands. 

Read more about Scholarships to Study Abroad:


How do I apply for a scholarship in the Netherlands?

To apply for a Netherlands scholarship for international students, visit the official website of the scholarship provider or the Dutch university offering the program. Follow their application instructions, submit required documents, and meet deadlines.

What grades are required to apply for Netherlands scholarships for Indian students?

Grade requirements vary depending on the scholarship and university. Generally, applicants need an impressive academic record, often with a minimum GPA or equivalent. Check specific requirements on the scholarship provider's or university's website.

Is it possible to study in the Netherlands with a 100% scholarship for Indian students?

While some of the Netherlands government scholarships cover the entire expenses, securing a 100% scholarship is highly competitive and not guaranteed. For instance, the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (now Erasmus+) can help you.

Is it difficult to apply for a scholarship in the Netherlands?

The difficulty level depends on the scholarship and your qualifications. It can be competitive, but careful research and preparation can improve your chances of success.

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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