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Are you an asylum seeker looking to pursue or continue your studies in higher education? The Netherlands needs bright minds like yours to bring innovative new ideas and creativity that will power the future. ⚡

As part of our January 2024 focus on education, we collected information on study programs and scholarships available to asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Here is a guide to different options and resources to support your academic growth 🧠

📚The Hague University of Applied Sciences

We believe international talent should not go to waste, which is why The Hague University of Applied Sciences and The Hague University of Applied Science Pro are offering up to three Susana Menendez Bright Future Scholarships (BFS) for the 2024-2025 academic year that are open to all asylum status holders. The scholarship covers the full tuition fee for successful candidates.

📚Utrecht University

Incluusion welcomes all newcomers with academic backgrounds and good levels of English to apply to courses at Utrecht University. Throughout the academic year, you can choose from a selection of bachelor courses. During the summer, we offer a selection of Utrecht Summer School courses that also include master and PhD-level courses. 

They also have a traineeship program aimed at developing skills, increasing experience in the Dutch labor market, and providing the opportunity to expand your network to obtain a paid employment contract after the traineeship.

📚Leiden University

Are you a refugee with an academic background and have you recently arrived in The Netherlands? Would you like to get to know Leiden University? You’re in the right place. The InclUUsion initiative makes it possible for refugees who are not (yet) able to register as students to follow courses at Leiden University. In addition, there is a team of buddies ready to help out with both the practical and social aspects of your studies.

📚Maastricht University
UM recognizes that it can be difficult for students from refugee communities to access and succeed in higher education. To support these learners, the Maastricht University NL-Euregional Refugee Scholarship program offers tuition waivers per academic year for talented refugee students from the Meuse-Rhine Euregion who have been admitted to a master’s program at UM.

📚Worth-while-Universiteit Wageningen 

WUR offers refugees and asylum-seekers the opportunity to follow courses at Wageningen University. Courses are available in English or Dutch at BSc and MSc levels in the five disciplinary fields within WUR: Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Animal Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Plant Sciences and Social Sciences. You can find more information about the program here.

📚Radboud University

Radboud University offers newcomers with a refugee background the chance to follow bachelor courses in our programs for free. Whether you already have a status, or your procedure is still in progress: you are welcome. Find out more here


We offer weekend courses and exam training in science subjects and Dutch and English. Our courses prepare our students for national entrance exams for many HBO and university studies. In addition to the courses, we offer tailor-made guidance. Find more information here

📚Hack Your Future

The program trains people with a refugee background to become web developers and software testers through a free seven-month program. After the course, graduates start their careers at one of their partner companies.


Forward·Inc has different programs dedicated to supporting asylum seekers’ journey to starting their own business, no matter what stage of entrepreneurship they may be in. Are you a beginner with a great idea, and need help setting your plan in motion – join the DEP. Have you started your business but want to scale and attract investment – join the FA program. Find out more about the different programs they offer here.

📚Amsterdam UMC

Amsterdam UMC has a program for status holders in healthcare, this includes doctors, nurses, radiologists or medical assistants. The HR department will investigate in a personal conversation whether they can offer appropriate support through a networking interview, internship or intake process. Find out more here.


STAR/T is an initiative of the University of Twente and Mindt, in collaboration with the ROZ Group, and DELITELABS. In Twente, 14 collaborating municipalities are offering a recurrent entrepreneurship program for newcomers as an alternative route out of welfare. Participants develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills that will help them start their own business and create an independent life. Find out more here.


NewBees matches newcomers with traineeships with local entrepreneurs and organizations, where talent and equality are central. Newcomers gain practical experience, practice Dutch with colleagues, and build up a local network.

Additional resources:

UAF (Foundation for Refugee Students): Provides support for asylum seekers who want to study and work in the Netherlands. Find out more here.

RefugeeHelp by VluchtelingenWerk: This organization supports asylum seekers throughout all stages of their process. Their RefugeeHelp page is a great resource for getting information on studying, finding work and more in different languages.

If you have other recommendations or tips, please share them with so we can include them in the guide.