Education in Holland is free. Unlike most places in the world that actually means free right through University and College. Every student has the opportunity to continue their education based only upon academic ability and not income. Dutch Universities are very well renowned for their caliber of graduates. Because it is difficult to find cheap accommodation in Holland, students are also provided with a card (OV-kaart) which allows them to use public transport for free during one part of the week and with a discount during the other part. Since 2002 most universities offer undergraduate programs and all of them offer Master’s programs. While there are quite a few smaller universities and colleges to choose from in Holland there are three main universities.
This is the oldest university in the Netherlands, built in 1575 when the school was gifted to the city by William of Orange. Campus buildings are scattered around the city of Leiden which is a typical university city. The motto of the university is ‘Bastion of Liberty’ which reflects the university philosophy that everyone has freedom of belief, religion and speech. Thus for a relatively small university Leiden has produced some great scholars and scientists of note.
The university has approximately 17 000 students and 4000 staff members. There are six faculties including Education, Archaeology, Humanities, Law, Medicine, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Behavioral Sciences.
The highest ranking university in the Netherlands, Utrecht boasts international rankings of 11th in Europe and 52nd in the world, according to the Shanghai Ranking of world universities. Founded in 1636 the university has 7 faculties including Humanities, Law (Economics and Governance), Geosciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Science, Medicine and Veterinary.
Utrecht has approximately 13 000 students. Graduates of Utrecht have gone on to achieve great things including 12 Nobel Prize winners and (from 1995 to 2009) and 12 Spinoza Laureates. Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Needless to say Utrecht does have academic entry prerequisite criteria.
The University of Groningen
This is the largest Dutch university. It is another fabulously old university which lends to it an air of distinction and history. Of the three big universities in Holland, Groningen has the broadest subject range and also the greater number of students. A total of 28,643 students attend the university every year. This number is supported by 4690 staff and 413 professors. The school offers 58 different Bachelor programs and 114 Masters programs spread between 9 faculties and 9 graduate schools.