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NL Scholarship - Incoming students

The NL Scholarship (formerly known as Holland Scholarship) is intended for talented international students who would like to follow an English-taught Bachelor’s programme at Leiden University.

1 February 2024
Target group
Countries/ nationalities
All nationalities, with the exception of EU/EEA, Swiss and Surinamese passport holders
Scholarship type
Archaeology, Humanities, Governance and Global Affairs, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science
NL Scholarship

For who

For talented non-EEA students enrolling in one of the following English-taught Bachelor’s programmes:

  • African Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Arts, Media and Society
  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology
  • Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Dutch Studies
  • English Language and Culture
  • International Relations and Organisations
  • International Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives
  • Psychology
  • Security Studies
  • South and Southeast Asian Studies
  • Urban Studies

Eligibility requirements

  • You are not an EU/EEA, Swiss or Surinamese passport holder.
  • You are not eligible for support via the Dutch student finance system
  • You are not eligible to pay the lower tariff of tuition fee known as statutory tuition fee.
  • You have never studied at a Dutch university or a Dutch university of applied sciences. 
  • You have completed your pre-university education outside The Netherlands.


You must agree to the Terms and Conditions of the NL Incoming Scholarship.


One-off payment of € 5,000 – which you will receive after arrival in The Netherlands in your first year of studies.

Note: The NL Scholarship is not a full scholarship. Non-EU/EEA NL Scholarship recipients must still submit ‘proof of sufficient funds’ for their student visa/residence permit application.

Application process

  1. Compose a letter of motivation, specifically for the NL Scholarship. In your letter, answer the following questions in separate paragraphs:
    • Who are you? Please introduce yourself. (max 100 words)
    • What makes you a talented student, taking into account your academic achievements? (max 150 words)
    • What makes you an outstanding student besides your grades? Elaborate on your activities and broader interests besides your studies. (max 150 words)
    • Elaborate briefly why you wish to study at Leiden University in particular, and why you are applying for this scholarship. (max 150 words)
    • Add a financial plan to your motivation letter. In this plan, set out how you plan to finance the three years of your bachelor's programme. (max 1 page)
  2. Before 1 February, submit an online application for admission for one of the above-mentioned Bachelor’s progammes at Leiden University.
    • Note: it can take up to 2 days to create/submit an application for admission, so start your application well before the NL Scholarship deadline. 
  3. After submitting your application for admission, return to the Apply screen in your online application and click on Scholarships. If you are eligible to apply for the NL Scholarship, it will now be visible in the scholarships section.
    • Note: if you cannot see the NL Scholarship in your scholarships section, you have either not yet submitted your application for admission, your application has not been processed yet or you are not eligible for the NL Scholarship.
  4. Indicate that you want to apply for the NL Scholarship and upload your scholarship motivation letter and financial plan (in 1 pdf-file) where indicated before the NL Scholarship deadline.

Late applications

Late scholarship applications will not be considered. It is the responsibillity of the student to make sure they create/submit both their application for admission and their application for a scholarship before the NL Scholarship deadline.  

Selection process

A selection committee will review all applications for the NL Scholarship, taking into account prior academic achievement, diversity of the applicants and the information provided in the scholarship motivation letter. You will be notified of the outcome by the Leiden University Scholarships Team (up to) 6 weeks after the deadline.

Specific information

For further information visit the Study in Holland website.


The NL Scholarship is made available by Leiden University, Nuffic, VSNU, Vereniging Hogescholen and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.


The student is responsible for submitting a complete application before the deadline mentioned above. Leiden University cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

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