Study at NHL

With approximately 13,000 students, NHL is a medium-sized university of applied sciences, offering higher professional education programs which prepare you for particular professions.

Practically oriented

Universities of applied sciences are more practically oriented than research universities. Students who successfully complete the programs are awarded a Bachelor’s degree, and for some programs there is an option to continue studying and obtain a Master’s Degree.

The different institutes

The NHL offers a wide range of study programs in a variety of fields. The NHL has four institutes: the Institute of Healthcare and Welfare, the Institute of Technology, the Institute of Education and Communication and the Institute for Business and Management Studies. Together the institutes offer about 70 Bachelor’s degree programs. For exchange students there’s a great variety of courses to choose from.

NHL facilities

As a student at NHL University of Applied Sciences you get the chance to study in a dynamic learning environment. The campus has the latest equipment like wireless internet (wifi), modern study areas, a café and restaurant, a theatre, an internet lounge, multicopy services, a bookshop and much more!

  • Audio Visual Centre
    If you need a camera (photo or video), tripod, voice recorder or beamer in the course of your studies, you can borrow them for free at the Audio- Visual Centre (AVC). A wide range of equipment is available at the AVC.
  • Computer facilities
    At the NHL you will find modern IT facilities, including free use of internet, your own e-mail address and homepage and wireless internet.
  • Sport
    As a guest of NHL University of Applied Sciences you have the opportunity to participate in sport with other students. You can buy a sports pass which will entitle you to join in several sport activities. The sports pass will cost you some money to purchase, but gives you a good discount if you want to play sport frequently.
  • NHL student card
    The student card is a private pass that enables you to pay for all your purchases at school. You can upload the card in the restaurant or servicecorners at the campus.
  • Student Chaplaincy
    Leeuwarden has active pastoral care facilities. The Student Chaplaincy is an ecumenical organisation which organises church services, monastery visits, discussion groups and all sorts of social and cultural activities. You will find more information on

The Dutch education system

2017 - 2018

Arrival date Fall Semester

28 August 2017

Introduction week Fall Semester

28 August – 1 September 2017

Start Fall Semester

4 September 2017

Fall break

23 - 27 October 2017

Application deadline Spring semester

15 October 2017

Christmas Break

25 December 2017 - 5 January 2018

End of Fall Semester*

26 January 2018

Arrival date Spring Semester

29 January 2018

Introduction week Spring Semester

29 January  - 2 February 2018

Start Spring Semester

5 February 2018

Spring Break

26 February - 2 March 2018


30 March – 2 April 2018

May Break

30 April – 4 May 2018

Ascencion Day

10 - 11 May 2018

Application deadline Fall semester

15 May 2018


21 May 2018

End of Spring Semester

13 July 2018

* The end date of the minor Business Management & Finance is Friday 2 February 2018!

NHL University of Applied Sciences uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). The ECTS-system was developed by the European Commission to guarantee recognition of credits gained abroad. ECTS credits describe the student workload required to complete a course unit. 60 ECTS represent the workload of a year of fulltime study, 30 ECTS credits that of a semester, 1 credit = 28 hours.

It is up to the participating institutions to assign credits to the different courses relative to their workload. Internships (work placements) and electives are also assigned academic credits, but only if they form an integral part of the study program. Non-credit courses may, however, be included on a student’s transcript. Credits are awarded only if a course has been completed and all requirements have been met and examinations passed.

Students that take part on an exchange program will receive full credit for all academic work successfully completed at any of the ECTS partner institutions. These credits may be transferred from one participating institution to another as long as there has been prior agreement between the institutions involved. NHL University of Applied Sciences is involved in student exchange with numerous partner institutions.

The Dutch grading system is on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 a rarity and 9 not very often awarded. To successfully complete a course, a student needs to score 5.5 though sometimes they may compensate for a weak mark in a group of subjects by achieving a good average.

After successfully completing a course, credits will be awarded according the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The number of ECTS awarded for a course reflects the student workload to complete it. The basis allocation of academic credits in ECTS is 60 credits for a full year of study, 30 credits for a semester.

Grade Description
10 Excellent
9 Very good
8 Good
7 Amply sufficient
6 Sufficient
5,5 Pass
5 Nearly sufficient
4 Insufficient
3 Highly insufficient
2 Poor
1 Very Poor
V all requirements were met with
O not all requirements were met with
no final mark