TU Delft and the all-new Top Student Grant

In July, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science announced a new initiative to make the Netherlands more attractive to international students, and to encourage Dutch students to study abroad.

As per this new scholarship programme, 1,000 grants worth €5,000 each will be granted each year to top students from different countries. Part of the aim is to give the Netherlands a more global standing when it comes to standards of higher education.

“We very much welcome the initiative. Obviously we are pleased that the high Dutch standards in higher education are presented all over the world. Of course TU Delft will participate as well, although the regulations are still to be worked out and as it seems the institutes of higher education are to contribute to 50% of the scholarship costs,” says Elco van Noort, the director of the Central International Office.

Explaining further about international scholarships in the Netherlands, van Noort points out that until few years ago the government offered something called the Huygens Scholarship Programme, also aimed at bringing the best students from around the world to the Netherlands. Although the number of scholarships was limited to a few hundreds, these were full scholarships that covered living plus tuition fees at an average budget of approximately €30,000. Due to education spending cuts, the Huygens Scholarship Programme was closed in 2012.

“Now, the Ministry intends to award 1,000 scholarships of €5,000, though 50% of the scholarship will be paid by the institutes. The total cost for students from outside Europe for a two years master’s study at TU Delft is around €50,000, including tuition and living.”

However, the past few years have seen a steady rise in the number of international students enrolled in Dutch universities. Despite the high fees, over 900 internationals enrolled at TU Delft for the academic session starting in September 2014.

“This year 50% of all admitted master’s students will actually come to Delft. That is a very good result compared to other universities, where sometimes less than 10% actually show up. The number of first year MSc students at TU Delft increased this year by more than 25%. An additional scholarship will obviously help to lower the financial barrier for some students, however given the number of institutes of higher education and the high costs for international students the impact will be limited, especially in the beginning. Nevertheless, assuming this scholarship lasts for ten years, it will be beneficial for the position of the Netherlands in Higher Education globally,” he adds. 

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