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Best universities in the Netherlands 2023

Find the top universities in Holland, using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023 data

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October 18 2022
Wageningen University Atlas Building


Top 5 universities in the Netherlands 

Scroll down for the full list of the best universities in the Netherlands

Netherlands Rank 2023 World University Rank 2023  University City/town
1 59 Wageningen University & Research Wageningen
2 60 University of Amsterdam Amsterdam
3 66 Utrecht University Utrecht
4 70 Delft University of Technology Delft
5 75 University of Groningen Enschede

Studying in the Netherlands is becoming more and more popular among international students, partly because of the ample array of world-leading Dutch universities that teach in English.

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In Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023, the 13 universities in the Netherlands all feature among the top 300.

The best colleges and schools in the Netherlands are found in 12 cities. Amsterdam has two top universities.

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As more and more international students choose to study at a top Dutch university, the number of degree courses taught in English has grown.

All Dutch universities in the ranking teach more than 40 different undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English, and some – such as the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University – teach well over 100 degrees in English.

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Top five universities in the Netherlands

5. University of Groningen

The University of Groningen was founded in 1614 and offers 180 English-taught bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These courses are spread across 11 faculties and and nine graduate schools.

The university is located in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands.

More than 120 nationalities are represented on the university’s campuses.

The university offers a wide range of sporting activities and student societies. Almost each sport has its own association, and offers the use of its facilities at discount rates for students.

4. Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is the largest and oldest public technical university in the Netherlands.

It was founded as a royal academy for civil engineers, partly to educate civil servants who would work for the Dutch East India Company.

The number of students at TU Delft increased dramatically after the Second World War, prompting the tradition, still practised, of having a “reception week” for new students, which is similar to freshers’ weeks in the UK and the US.

Although the original university buildings were in the city centre, now they are all based in Mekelpark, the university neighbourhood designed for that purpose.

Of particular note is TU Delft Library, which has a roof covered with grass for natural insulation.

There about 18,000 students at the university, and a quarter of them are international.

3. Utrecht University

Utrecht University was founded in 1636 and is one of the Netherland’s most prominent research universities.

Students and staff from some 118 different nationalities study and work at Utrecht University.

Utrecht University offers more than 90 postgraduate programmes and 12 undergraduate programmes. All programmes are taught in English, and they cover a wide range of academic disciplines, including natural sciences, law, governance, life sciences, humanities, social sciences and earth sciences.

There are many different student associations and clubs at the university, covering performing arts, sports, the arts and many other areas of interest.

2. University of Amsterdam

Established in 1632, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the third-oldest university in the country.

It has about 24,000 students, making it the largest in the Netherlands by enrolment.

As well as featuring in the top 100 of the World University Rankings, UvA ranks particularly highly for arts and humanities and social sciences.

The university offers about 150 degrees taught in English, attracting more than 3,000 international students from more than 100 countries.

The main campus is in central Amsterdam, with university buildings scattered around the city, allowing for good integration between students and locals.

UvA is one of Europe’s largest research universities, based on the number of scientific publications and the amount of research funding.

The central library contains more than 4 million books and thousands of manuscripts, letters, maps and rare works. The university also has five museums.

1. Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research has a specialist focus on agricultural and environmental science.

Most of the undergraduate BSc programmes are taught in a mixture of Dutch and English, but about 40 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are taught solely in English.

The university attracts a significant number of international students for this reason – about 27 per cent of all students come from abroad.

In total, the university offers 20 different undergraduate programmes, including courses in business, international development and health sciences. There are 37 programmes at master’s level, all of which are taught in English. All courses take two years to complete.

The town of Wageningen is in the centre of the country, but it is not very far from Amsterdam or the German border.

Top universities in the Netherlands 2023

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2023 results

Netherlands Rank 2023 World University Rank 2023  University City/town
1 59 Wageningen University & Research Wageningen
2 60 University of Amsterdam Amsterdam
3 66 Utrecht University Utrecht
4 70 Delft University of Technology Delft
5 75 University of Groningen Enschede
6 77 Leiden University Leiden
7 80 Erasmus University Rotterdam Rotterdam
8 121 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Amsterdam
9 =139 Radboud University Nijmegen Enschede
10 145 Maastricht University Maastricht
11 201–250 Eindhoven University of Technology Eindhoven
=12 251–300 Tilburg University Tilburg
=12 251–300 University of Twente Twente




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