Studying in the Netherlands with a foreign qualification

Language selection:English

If you have a foreign diploma or certificate and want to study in the Netherlands, there are several things you need to find out. Your foreign qualification may not be comparable to a Dutch one. You may also need to have certain documents before you can study here.

The Dutch school or university of your choice will probably want more information about your foreign diploma or certificate. So you need to find out their requirements. For example, they may want a translation of your diploma or certificate, or additional information. Start early and plan ahead to prevent unpleasant surprises later on.

Check whether your foreign qualification has a Dutch equivalent

The school or university of your choice will state which Dutch qualification is required for admission to the study programme. You will need to find out how your own diploma compares to this. The Nuffic website has an overview of qualifications from over 95 countries and the Dutch equivalent to them.

Attention: An evaluation of your qualifications is usually required for admission to a school or university in the Netherlands.

Getting your foreign qualification evaluated

Credential evaluation shows how your qualification and training compare with the standards set by the Dutch education system. This helps a Dutch educational institution decide whether you meet its admission requirements.

Find out more about evaluation of qualifications for study

Getting your diploma or certificate legalised

The Dutch school or university of your choice may ask you for a legalised diploma or certificate. By legalising a diploma that was issued by a competent authority abroad you can use it in the Netherlands. A diploma or certificate is usually legalised by adding a stamp or sticker called an ‘apostille’. It shows that the document is genuine. You must have your diploma or certificate legalised in the country where it was issued.

Find out more about legalising foreign documents


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Also useful