How can you get access to education?

While the education system wants to guarantee a certain level of quality, not everyone is accepted automatically. You have to show that you have the minimum level of knowledge or language skills needed by showing your diploma.

If you want to enter from abroad, you need to know where you enter the system. Is your education comparable to havo? Or is it valued as a college degree?

You can do this through diploma evaluation. This costs money. If you do not have this now, you will have to wait until you are eligible for student finance. This is only possible if you have a temporary residence permit.

Financial support: DUO

As soon as you have a temporary residence permit, you can get budget for Dutch lessons or for formal education, like MBO, bachelor or Master studies.

Also people older than 30 years can get a loan from DUO. This is called: levenlanglerenkrediet.

It is a loan, so read the conditions carefully so that you know what is expected of you.

Highly educated? UAF is an independent foundation that represents the interests of refugee students and professionals by offering opportunities to develop further in the fields of study and work by giving advice, guidance, financial support and through the use of their network.

Below you find ways to already get some education at Universities for free. This way you can look around to meet new people and see what kind of career suits you in NL.

Free courses

HackYourFuture is a free education program to learn programming. The program takes 7 months and is meant for talented refugees and other disadvantaged groups with limited access to education and the labour market.


TU/enable offers newcomers in the province of Noord-Brabant a chance to participate in a selection of regular undergraduate courses for free

Leiden University on Coursera

Leiden University offers free online courses, arranged by the top experts in their fields.

WURth-while-University Wageningen

WUR offers refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to take courses at Wageningen University. The courses are taught in Dutch and English at BSc and MSc level in the fields of: Agrotechnology and Food sciences, Animal sciences, Environmental sciences, Plant sciences and Social sciences.

Radboud University

Radboud University welcomes all newcomers with academic backgrounds and proper levels of English or Dutch to apply to bachelor courses of selected study programmes and participate for free.

Leiden University on Future Learn

Leiden University offers free online courses, arranged by the top experts in their fields.


Refugees and asylum-seekers who have studied at university in their country of origin, and speak English, can take free courses from bachelor studies at Utrecht University

Educational institutions for refugees

The UAF assists refugees with their studies and finding a job in the Dutch labor market. Registering for a study involves a number of requirements, which you will also find on the site.


Edu4You offers weekend courses and trainings on beta subjects, the Dutch language, and the English language. The goal is to guide refugees to a Hbo-program, university program, or a job.

Study in Holland

Information for refugees wishing to be enrolled in Senior secondary vocational education (MBO), Higher professional education (HBO), or university education (WO).


ScienceForUkraine is an initiative especially for students from Ukraine and researchers from all over the world. On the website of ScienceForUkraine you can find the latest academic vacancies and academic transfer opportunities. You can also contact this organisation for guidance during the application process.

Emergency scholarships and funding programs for at-risk academics

This document contains emergency contacts as well as emergency funding opportunities for scholars and students, artists and cultural workers, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists at risk from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

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