For British students intending to complete their full degree abroad we have some recent information from the Dutch government that updates its previous advice.

Now that we have departed from the European Union (officially if not in any actual meaningful way yet) the guidelines now make reference to the end of the transition period. Previously, all announcements had been based on the departure date.

The Dutch government has offered an assurance to all British nationals that if they are resident in the Netherlands before the end of the transition period (currently 31st December 2020) they will be able to carry over their EU rights for the duration of their stay in the Netherlands, theoretically permanently. What this means is that students starting in September 2020 are guaranteed EU fees (currently €2,143 with minor annual increases) for the duration of their studies. If a British citizen is registered as living in the Netherlands before the end of transition they would also be able to benefit from EU fees if they were to start their studies at some point in the future.

British nationals resident in the Netherlands before the end of transition will also be able to benefit from Dutch student finance as they currently do, meaning tuition loans for all degrees and maintenance loans in some circumstances. The terms and conditions regarding Dutch student finance for British nationals is spelled out in full on our website.

We can now be certain that British students looking at Dutch universities for 2020 will be safe from any Brexit-related changes to their rights. This extends beyond tuition fees and means the right to work and reside in The Netherlands would also be protected. (A lengthy absence from the Netherlands at any point might see the withdrawal of these rights.) We therefore advise any student who is in a position to apply to university this year that they should not delay. Unless they have already planned to use a gap year to establish their residency in the European Union, they should cancel those plans and go to university this year. The deadline for most degrees at Dutch universities is 1st May so there is still time to apply.

It is possible that transition will be extended. If so, we would expect the principles outlined above to be extended as well. However, there is no obligation on the part of the Dutch government to do this. Clearly it is a pragmatic solution but Dutch patience might wear thin if there are endless extensions.

As to what happens after transition, the Dutch government is clear: unless there is an agreement regarding student mobility in the EU (something which cannot be said to be near the top of the UK’s agenda even though many British universities are crying out for it), British students will be third-party nationals and will have to pay the higher, international tuition fees with no loans available. Eligibility for scholarships will improve but that means the fees a British student pay will only be knowable on  a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately for current Year 12 students they are likely to be the first to experience this new reality.

As with all the Brexit-related advice we offer here and on our websites, we cannot take responsibility for its accuracy. These are merely our informed opinions.

About Study In Holland is an information service designed to assist British and Irish students in pursuing their university education in the Netherlands.

We have extensive knowledge of English-taught degrees in Holland and we also work with careers advisory services. is owned by A Star Future Ltd and is not affiliated with the Dutch government.