Leiden University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe, offers a range of excellence scholarships for international students who wish to pursue a master’s degree programme at the university. The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS) is a highly competitive and selective scholarship that covers part or full tuition fees, depending on the academic merit and nationality of the applicants.
To be eligible for the LExS, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have applied for a full-time master’s degree programme at Leiden University, with the exception of LLM (non-advanced) and MSc programmes at Leiden Law School, and study programmes starting in February at the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences, and Leiden Law School.
- You must have a non-EEA/non-EFTA passport, and not be eligible for student finance via the Dutch government (Studiefinanciering), with the exceptions of students applying for the following programmes for which no nationality restrictions apply: All LLM Advanced Studies programmes and MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy.
- You must have achieved excellent academic results in your previous study programme(s), which must be relevant to the master’s programme for which you are applying. As an indication, you must be among the top 10% of graduates in your previous study programme. Note that proof of ranking is not required – this information is purely to indicate the level of competitiveness.
The LExS provides three types of awards, depending on the academic merit and nationality of the applicants:
- € 10,000 of the tuition fee
- € 15,000 of the tuition fee
- Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee
The LExS is not a full scholarship. It does not cover living expenses, visa fees, insurance costs, or other expenses. You are advised to look for additional funding sources to cover your living costs in the Netherlands.
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To apply for the LExS, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification from a recognized institution.
- You must meet the English language proficiency requirements of your chosen master’s programme. You can check the specific requirements on the programme website.
- You must submit a letter of motivation (max. 500 words) explaining why you are applying for the LExS and how it will contribute to your academic and professional goals.
- You must submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional referees who can attest to your academic performance and potential.
- You must submit a curriculum vitae (CV) highlighting your academic achievements and relevant experiences.
To apply for the LExS, you must submit the following documents along with your online application for admission:
- A copy of your passport or identity card
- A copy of your bachelor’s degree certificate and transcript
- A copy of your English language test score (if applicable)
- A letter of motivation
- Two letters of recommendation
- A curriculum vitae
All documents must be in English or accompanied by an official English translation.
The application procedure for the LExS consists of two steps:
- Apply online for admission to a master’s degree programme at Leiden University via Studielink before the deadline. You will need to upload all the required documents and pay an application fee of €100.
- Submit an online application for the LExS via Scholarship Portal before the deadline. You will need to fill in an online form and upload your letter of motivation.
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You can only apply for one scholarship per master’s programme. If you apply for more than one scholarship, your application will be disqualified.
The deadline for applying for admission and the LExS depends on the start date of your chosen master’s programme:
- For programmes starting in September 2024: 1 February 2024
- For programmes starting in February 2025: 1 October 2024
You are advised to apply as early as possible to increase your chances of being admitted and awarded a scholarship.
You will receive an email confirmation after submitting your application. You can check the status of your application on the Scholarship Portal.
You will be notified of the outcome of your application by mid-April 2024 for programmes starting in September 2024, and by mid-December 2024 for programmes starting in February 2025.
If you are awarded a LExS, you must accept or decline the offer within two weeks. You must also comply with the terms and conditions attached to the scholarship.
Scholarship Official website: Leiden University Excellence Scholarships, Netherlands 2024