DS wants to go to university in Europe.

(35 Posts)
Batteryhuman Wed 13-Apr-11 17:40:08

My Ds is looking at economics and business degree courses in Europe, particularly Holland where there are a number of degrees taught in english. Has anyone else any experience of this, the admissions process, living and studying etc that they can share?

OP’s posts: |
sandripples Wed 13-Apr-11 20:24:55

No I don't but the Independent had a special section on studying in the Netherlands if you can get it, a couple of weeks ago. I noticed as my DD is thinking of doing an MA there. The articles were very positive about life as a student there.

slipshodsibyl Fri 15-Apr-11 17:56:02

The Guardian has an article here too: www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/mar/06/university-europe-no-debt

Have you seen this site: www.nuffic.nl

The Netherlands is very keen to attract international students. Many home students are taught in English as that is the language of much of the course literature/ text books.

The universities have students who are assigned to help those new to the country to do things like buy a bicycle! There is more of a cafe culture there than in the UK and less problem with alcohol and young people. It is still a new country to learn about though so visiting is extra important I think. I have no direct experience of admissions, but I would call those you night be interested in.

frakyouveryverymuch Fri 15-Apr-11 17:58:34

My DH did his Bachelors in Maastricht. Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions that he might be able to help with - he doesn't come on MN!

AlpinePony Thu 19-May-11 07:40:16

There was a thread on mn about a year ago (?) talking about university in Maastricht, I seem to remember frak contributing.

quirrelquarrel Fri 03-Jun-11 09:28:46

I know a girl who turned down Oxford and UCL to go to Maastricht uni!

I was born in Maastricht grin it's a beautiful city.

eatyourveg Sun 05-Jun-11 19:27:45

ds1 is looking at a Dutch degree probably Amsterdam. I know Maastricht is well regarded but know nothing about any others save for what is posted on TSR where Utrecht seems to be the most popular.

I'm trying to find something similar to unistats where I can work out which places are Russell Group type places and which are micky mouse institutions

Have you looked at www.studyinholland.co.uk/ its where we have started looking for info


quirrelquarrel Wed 06-Jul-11 10:08:49

I'm applying for Utrecht, definitely. I would love love love to go there. I don't care about whether it's prestigious or not, as long as it's not an absolute dump (and UCU was 50th in some world rankings a while ago, I think).

Batteryhuman Mon 11-Jul-11 18:33:54

Looks like Maastricht, Utrecht and Groningen all have lots of courses in english,. Now DS has to work through the applications process.

OP’s posts: |
RidcullySentTheBursarMad Sun 17-Jul-11 18:13:06

Groningen is in the middle of nowhere. Utrecht is nice, the university has a good reputation and it's easy via train to Amsterdam for flights home. Maastricht is also nice.

Amsterdam, of course, has two universities, the University of Amsterdam and the "Free University" (Vrije Universiteit). Both are well regarded, though as always in cities with more than one institution, there is a lot of competition between the two.

One thing I would say is that even though the course is taught in English, it is worth while socially to learn some Dutch. Some universities do have lessons for foreign students.

RidcullySentTheBursarMad Sun 17-Jul-11 18:18:12

Oh, and don't forget, Holland is a region in the Netherlands. Many Dutch from outside Holland don't like the two to be used interchangeably (it would be the equivalent of calling the whole of England, "the Home Counties").

Brasstacks Thu 20-Sep-18 11:21:51

It's a really good idea. For reasons why a UK university might not be a good idea, read "The Great University Con" by David Craig.

You can get both higher quality, a more interesting/useful experience and much less debt by studying in Europe.

user2222018 Thu 20-Sep-18 12:03:24

You can get both higher quality, a more interesting/useful experience and much less debt by studying in Europe.

What is your evidence for it being higher quality?

According to international league tables, the UK has a remarkably large number of universities in the top 50-100 in the world.

BTW Dutch university courses are not that cheap - fees are still in the thousands and UK student loans cannot be used to pay the fees. Fees are up to 4k or so for EU students, and can easily be 10k+ for non-EU students (which UK students soon will be).

MarchingFrogs Thu 20-Sep-18 14:16:06

Also, there has been a bit of a backlash from the home population recently, with regard to the number of courses being taught in English.

(You need to register to access the article, but it's free)


lovelyupnorth Fri 21-Sep-18 11:41:31

my DD looking at Delft - to do aero engineering - making the most of her other EU passport.

mushroom3 Fri 21-Sep-18 13:32:46

My son had a place at Twente (engineering). There are 13 prestigious Dutch universities which are the academic equivalent to Russell Group. Degrees take 3 years and you typically will need at least CCC to get in (ie can get in with lower grades than to UK equivalent but the 1st year failure rates are high). There is a lower tier of Unis where you can get in with lower grades and the degrees take 4 years. It's a bit like the former Uni versus Poly system in the UK.
My son went to an open day, did student for a day (shadowing a first year for a day) and then applied on-line. Most students do a Masters degree either at their first degree institution or elsewhere. Most Dutch uni's (Twente is an exception as it's a campus uni) don't have student halls so you need to find a house/flat-share.

mushroom3 Fri 21-Sep-18 13:36:18

After A level results he decided to go to a UK uni, he he is thinking of revisiting the idea at masters level. It's worth looking at the world rankings for Business/Economics to see which of the Dutch Unis are highly ranked.

BubblesBuddy Fri 21-Sep-18 13:44:59

CCC at A level for Engineering isn’t RG level. Also are Dutch degrees recognised by the Council of Engineering Institutions. If not, then it’s better to stay in the uk or your career will be stunted.

lovelyupnorth Fri 21-Sep-18 13:46:52

if you stay in the UK your career will be stunted anyway..

lovelyupnorth Fri 21-Sep-18 13:48:56

oh and at least till brexit

Under Directive 2005/36: Recognition of Professional Qualifications, citizens of other European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) Member States who are recognised as an engineer or technician in their home state may apply to the relevant UK professional engineering institution for membership and registration with the Engineering Council.

BubblesBuddy Sat 22-Sep-18 00:28:46

Engineers in this country get jobs. There are big shortages. If you take a BEng, or worse, have a degree that isn’t accredited, it’s going to be a slog to get Chartered. If you do an MEng in this country, you can be Chartered in 4 years. CCC at A level won’t get you into an MEng here. Be very careful about comparing degrees and assuming they are all the same! They are not.

Oldowl Sat 22-Sep-18 16:02:57

CCC is the minimum requirement for all courses at the 13 Dutch research universities. A*, A*, D will not get in. It is an egalitarian system, so as long as you achieve the minimum requirement you will get a place. However there are exams every 6 weeks and if you do not pass the all the exams during the year, you are off the course. Hence, the high drop out rate in the first year.

DD wants to study in the Netherlands - Political Science in The Hague (taught in English). Her course is now selective (with a cap on the number of places offered), so she has to do an online test, submit a motivational letter and her predicted grades then be placed in rank order to be offered a conditional place of CCC. Other selective courses are medicine, Law and Aerospace engineering (at Delft).

Dutch universities have two long semesters (20 weeks each), so longer contact time than British secondary schools. There are 2 weeks off at Christmas, but no Easter holiday (just 8 bank holidays dotted throughout April, May and June - Kings Day, Liberation Day etc).

Teaching contact time is 20 hours per week of lectures, seminars and tutorials for DD chosen course and 20 independent study. Tuition fees are 2000 euros a year, but the Dutch government has just cut first year fees by half. So DD's degree will be 5000 euros. Her chosen university is 67th in the Times Rankings so higher ranked than Bristol, Durham and Warwick.

The university accommodation are big blocks of studio apartments. So cooking facilities in your room and an en-suite. However, rooms are completely empty- you do not even get a bed. Freshers week starts on the 19th August, which is the Monday after A level results. Freshers apparently spend much of that week helping each other assemble their deliveries from Ikea... bonding over allen keys!

There are interest free loans for tuition fees but no maintenance loans. That is the only downside; but it means DD will graduate debt free, so on the other hand it is a bonus.

90% of Dutch graduates go on to do a Masters, in the UK it is about 25%. So DD may end up studying for 4 years.

abilockhart Sat 22-Sep-18 19:18:18

Degrees from universities in The Netherlands are highly-valued for a reason.

Here in the UK, universities have a strong financial incentive to hold onto under-performing students. In NL, there is no such incentive -a mediocre performance and the student is out.

For that reason, studying in NL can be a high-risk option for all but the most capable and dilligent of students.

abilockhart Sat 22-Sep-18 19:19:23

dilligent diligent

BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Sep-18 18:51:32

The Hague isn’t in the QS world rankings at all. 13 Dutch universities are, but not that one. I think these universities market themselves well but if she wants to work in the UK, I am pretty sure employers will value Durham, Warwick and Bristol highly because they know them. Niche choices, for whatever reason, are not always best.

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