Intake of new Master’s students

In the 2022/'23 academic year, 50,312 students started at a university master's programma. This is 6,400 students (-11.3%) more than the number of students who started the year before. Students who are registered for the first time in this master's programme at this university are counted.


Because of the COVID-sitiation, from 2020/'21 till 2022/'23, students who have completed their bachelor's degree in a single subject are allowed to start at a university master's programme.This applies to students who progress from a university master to a university master as well as to students who are admissible to a university master's program via a bachelor's degree.

These students are registered in the national registers with a main registration for a master's student and a secondary registration in the bachelor's phase.


Various intake groups can be distinguished in the master's intake: students who move on from a university bachelor's programme both within the same university or to another university, students who are new to university master's education and students who have never been registered in Dutch higher education before.


In addition, roughly three groups are looked at: former university bachelor students, intake of students with a completed HBO education and international students.


NB: University teacher training courses can be found in the visual below under the Education sector. However, these are not all routes to a teaching qualification that universities offer. See the teacher training page (in Dutch only) for more information about the options and a breakdown by school subjects. This subdivision is not included in the regular registration. The grades by school subject are based on the request from university teacher training colleges and may deviate slightly from the grades based on the statistical data.





Transfer rate of Bachelor's degree graduates

The majority of graduated bachelor's students opt for a master's degreeat the university where the bachelor's degree was also completed.

The proportion of students who will follow a master's degree at a university other than the one where the bachelor's degree was completed is round and about 16%.


Due to the corona situation, in academic year 2020/'21 and academic year 2021/'22 it was possible to register for a university master's degree without a completed bachelor's degree. Approximately 4,100 bachelor's students have made use of this opportunity in 2020/'21. In 2021/'22 there will be approximately 3,500 students who started this way.


At the moment it is not possible for UNL to determine how many participants this concerns. This is due to the fact that in 2023 the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science changed the policy regarding the provision of data to UNL, as a result of which more limited information is available. UNL is discussing this with the Ministry.


Intake of Master’s students from universities of applied sciences (hbo)

The number of students with a higher vocational education entering a university master's programme has increased. In 2022/'23 there were 6,174 students, an decrease of 17% compared to the previous and recordyear 2021/'22. This mainly concerns former higher vocational education students who have previously completed a pre-master's programme or who have worked on deficiencies through contract education. Other students with higher vocational education previous education have been admitted directly to the Master's programme because of a suitable connection between higher vocational education and research university level.

Master’s intake of persons not previously enrolled in university degree programmes

This category mainly consists of people who have not previously participated in higher education as there are:

  • Dutch persons who have not been re-registered in Dutch government-funded higher education after the start of the national registration in 1992
  • International students who follow a university master's program in the Netherlands directly from abroad.


In academic year 2022/'23, 10,773 students are registered who have not previously participated in (Dutch) higher education. This is -13.9% compared to the previous year.



International student intake

Students with a non-Dutch secondary education and a non-Dutch Nationality are regarded as international students. The intake of these students can be distributed across the categories mentioned.

  • New intake: For the largest group of international students, enrolment in a Master's programme is the first introduction to higher education in the Netherlands. In addition, 
  • Bachelor transition: a number of international students enrolling in a Master's programme have taken higher education in the Netherlands previously: as Bachelor's students, as pre-Master's students in the Bachelor phase or via a university of applied sciences.





Late registrations

In some master's programmes it is also possible to start the program during the academic year. Thee registrations are referred to as "Na-inschrijvingen".


The reference point for the natoinal statistics is annually on 1 October, with the actual policy photo being taken on 1 December. For the most recent academic year 2022/'23, the late registrations are therefore not complete. The most recent year with late registrations is academic year 2021/'22.




Last updated 14-3-2023