Studielink - How to apply to a university in the Netherlands

Studielink is the central application organisation for Dutch universities. Applications to Dutch universities should usually be made via Studielink. Every university has its own introduction page to Studielink and this will be where you first start to apply.

You can find plenty of information about questions you may have on the Studielink website and the process usually works perfectly well. However, their FAQs do not cover everything that could go wrong and there is no way to contact them directly except by post. If you have a problem during the application process, your first point of contact will usually be the university to which you are applying. Because of their approach to customer service, it is vitally important that you do not lose your login and password as it is extremely difficult to retrieve these. Also, if you create an account and do not receive prompt acknowledgement of this, something will have gone wrong.

Studielink is not the same as UCAS and it serves a slightly different purpose. You can apply for up to four courses at a time, of which only two can be subject to Numerus Fixus. (You can only apply to one medicine course.) However, you can change the courses you wish to apply for at any time before the enrolment deadline. This gives you the flexibility to ensure you actually end up studying where and what you want.

You do not receive conditional offers through Studielink because Dutch university entry requirements usually do not depend on the specific grades you get at A level, International Baccalaureate or BTEC (although this is changing for A levels at research universities where CCC is now often the minimum requirement). Your previous grades will have a bearing on whether you are accepted on a course where there is Numerus Fixus, and occasionally A' level students must have appropriate subjects, but otherwise you only need to prove that you have the qualifications you say you have. Any offer you receive from a Dutch university will usually be dependent only on you passing the exams you plan to take. If you have already taken your A levels it is usually straightforward getting offers from Dutch universities. Private universities and Liberal Arts Colleges may have different entry requirements.

You must go through a number of steps during the enrolment process.

  1. You start by applying for an account.
  2. Once you have received your login details, you can proceed with entering your personal details.
  3. Once you have entered your personal details into Studielink, you can directly proceed with entering an enrolment application (select - new enrolment application).
    You need to get a verification code in order to proceed with your application. For applicants with a registered address in the Netherlands this step is automated. For students ordinarily resident outside the Netherlands cannot be verified in this way (you will not have what is called a “DigiD” until you are a registered Dutch resident which you will only usually become after you arrive at university). For this reason the institution of higher education where you are going to study generally will have to identify you and this is an important reason why you should let them know directly that you will be applying. In any case, you should keep a close eye on any email messages from Studielink, as they may contain further instructions.
  4. When you fill out the enrolment application, you will be asked to enter information about your previous education. This information will be checked. Depending on your previous education, this can be done via the General Register of Student Numbers (exam data) or the institution for higher education where you are going to study will ask you to send in copies of your diploma and grade list. The Studielink form does not allow you to list all of the individual GCSEs, A' levels that you have in the same way as you would do on UCAS. You simply enter that you are taking A' levels. Studielink does not check that you have the grades you submit; you will have to prove this separately.
  5. There is no place within Studielink to submit a personal statement or motivation letter as it is usually referred to in the Dutch context. This is because not every course requires one. Universities will request this directly from you if it is necessary. You can write an individual motivation letter for each degree programme that requires it which is a major difference from UCAS.
  6. When you have completed your application for one programme and have submitted your application, you will then be able to add up to three additional programmes but the system will prevent you from applying to multiple Numerus Fixus options. Occasionally, applicants are confused by the fact that there doesn't appear to be a way to apply to more than one degree. There is, but you won't see it until you complete one application.
  7. If you have completed all the steps of Studielink, you have finished submitting your application. There may, however, be additional steps in the enrolment process, for example if you have selected a study programme with Numerus Fixus where you might have to take additional online tests, be interviewed etc. Please keep an eye on the Studielink status at all times, and check the informational brochure or the website of the institution for higher education to see if further steps must be taken. The university will email you about these once it has assessed your application to check that you meet the minimum entry requirements.
  8. You will be asked to enter payment details for how you intend to pay your tuition fees. These fees must be paid before you can enrol but Studielink itself doesn’t charge you. It passes your information on to the relevant institution of higher education. Entering payment details into Studielink does NOT set up any standing order / direct debit. You will have to arrange payment yourself. This also applies for your student loans (EU nationals only).

About Study In Holland is an information service designed to assist British and Irish students in pursuing their university education in the Netherlands.

We have extensive knowledge of English-taught degrees in Holland and we also work with careers advisory services. is owned by A Star Future Ltd and is not affiliated with the Dutch government.