The situation in Ukraine leaves no one untouched. There are many questions, uncertainties, expressions of support and actions to help. In this file you can read what the UAF does, which organisations you can contact if you want help and we answer questions about studying or working in the Netherlands.
Note: There are still many uncertainties and therefore, unfortunately, we do not yet have an answer to every question. We will update this information as new information becomes available. Check this website regularly for current information.
What does Stichting voor Vluchteling-Studenten UAF do?
Nearly 7 million people have fled the war in Ukraine (source: UNHCR). Almost 65,000 refugees from Ukraine are registered with Dutch municipalities (source: CBS). These are not only Ukrainians, but also Afghans, Yemenis and people from African countries who studied or worked in Ukraine when the war started.
The UAF focuses on education and work opportunities for refugees. Our services are complementary to existing government provisions.
Refugees from Ukraine can study at a University or University of Applied Sciences (HBO/Hogeschool) in the Netherlands, provided they have the required level of previous education and meet the admission requirements for the study programme they wish to follow.
- Visit nuffic.nl to see how your previous education in Ukraine compares to the Dutch education system.
- Apply for a free credential evaluation from IDW.
- Study in NL gives more general information about the Dutch education system and to search for a study programme.
- When you have found a suitable study programme contact the educational institution directly about your application. Please keep in mind that the deadline for applying for a study programme at a University or University of Applied Sciences (HBO/Hogeschool) is generally 1 May. For MBO study programmes the deadline is generally 1 April. The deadlines may be earlier in the case of certain study programmes which have additional requirements.
The leaflet from the Dutch Government also provides information about studying at an institution of higher education in the Netherlands.
Refugees from Ukraine can also follow an MBO study programme (secondary vocational education) although a high level of Dutch is required for most MBO study programmes.
The leaflet from the Dutch Government provides information about studying at MBO level in the Netherlands.
The above information applies to refugees from Ukraine who are covered by the Temporary Protection Directive. If you did not have permanent residence in Ukraine before coming to the Netherlands it is likely that you will not longer be covered by the Temporary Protection Directive after 4 September 2023. Unfortunately we cannot assist you in this situation. If you wish to study in the Netherlands after 4 September 2023 you would need a residence permit for the purpose of study. The IND provides more information about applying for a residence permit for study. The tuition fees for international students would also apply to you. We advise you to contact the international office of the educational institute of your choice to discuss your situation and the possibilities for a residence permit for the purpose of study.
If you did not have permanent residence in Ukraine before coming to the Netherlands but have since applied for asylum in the Netherlands please see our information for asylum seekers and refugees.
Visit nuffic.nl to see how your diploma or previous education in Ukraine compares to the Dutch education system.
You can also apply for a free international credential evaluation from IDW. A credential evaluation shows which level in the Dutch educational system is comparable to your diploma. This information will help you when applying for a study programme or looking for a job.
In the academic year 2022-2023 most Dutch universities lowered the tuition fees for refugee students from Ukraine to the legal minimum, €2.209. This was also the case for some Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO/Hogeschool).
For the academic year 2023-2024 the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has not reduced the tuition fees for Ukrainian students. Ukrainian students are also not entitled to reimbursement of travel costs or other study-related costs, or to student finance from the Dutch government.
All schools and universities will decide independently which tuition fees will apply for Ukrainian students for the academic year 2023-2024. If you do not know yet which tuition fees will apply to you please contact the university directly.
Proof of your level of English, such as an IELTS or TOEFL certificate, is often required for admission to an English-taught study programme. In 2022 the UAF offered some IELTS preparation courses and support for the IELTS test for Ukrainian refugees who had a conditional acceptance to an English-taught study programme in the Netherlands.
We will offer these courses again in July 2023. The preparation courses and tests are only open to students who are conditionally accepted to a study programme for the academic year 2023-2024.
If you already have a letter of conditional acceptance to a study programme which will start in September 2023 and you need support to get an IELTS certificate please send your answers to these questions to email@example.com.
- Do you still fall under Temporary Protection in the Netherlands?
- Where do you currently live? (name of the town or city)
- Have you already registered for a study programme?
- What is the name of the study programme?
- What is the name of the school/university?
- Have you already received a conditional or unconditional acceptance for this study programme?
- Do you need an IELTS certificate to be unconditionally accepted for the study programme?
- Do you need anything else to be able to start the study programme?
- How much will you pay in tuition fees for the study programme (per year)?*
* All schools and universities will decide independently which tuition fees will apply for Ukrainian students for the academic year 2023-2024. If you do not know yet which tuition fees will apply to you please contact the university directly to ask this question before replying to this email.
- What is your phone number?
When we have received your email we will contact you about the next steps.
Please note that we cannot reimburse any costs that you have already made if you have arranged and paid for the IELTS exam yourself.
You can enquire about available Dutch courses at the municipality (Gemeente) where you are registered. The UAF cannot help you with learning Dutch at this time. Even if you cannot take a standard language course there are many ways in which you can start to learn Dutch.
We also provide some tips & websites for practicing and learning Dutch.
At the moment the UAF can only help researchers, who have a residence permit for asylum in the Netherlands and speak Dutch at B1 level, in finding PhD/research/teaching positions in the Netherlands.
As more becomes clear about the type of residence permits that Ukrainian refugees will receive in the Netherlands and the conditions (for work and study) attached to these residence permits we will know more about the type of support which the UAF may be able to offer.
When we know more we will publish this information on this page.
- More information for researchers will also be shared on the Euraxess website.
- The organisation Scholars at Risk may be able to help you to find a position at a Dutch University. You can contact them directly about the possibilities.
- You can also search for available PhD positions at Dutch universities through academictransfer.com. If you find an interesting position, or department you can contact the University directly to discuss the possibilities.
It is possible to study the Bachelor programme “Medicine” in English at Maastricht University and Groningen University. The Master programmes necessary to qualify in Medicine in the Netherlands are only taught in Dutch, and as such would require that you speak Dutch at B2 – C1 level. During the Bachelor programme in Groningen you are obliged to learn Dutch in order to qualify for the Master.
It is not certain that you could pick up your studies where you left off. You may need to re-do some, if not all, of the programme. Maastricht University and Groningen University can best advise you about this and about possibilities for receiving exemptions.
Also with regard to the application deadline, as this has already passed for students who wish to start in September 2023.
If you live close to one of these cities, there may be possibilities to participate in lectures as a guest-student while awaiting the selection procedure for next year. Click here for more information:
If you need assistance at this time we advise you to contact the international office or student counsellor at your university directly.
You may also contact Nuffic (The Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education).
Check the information from The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) regularly for updates.
To be able to work as a medical professional in the Netherlands you need to have a BIG-registration. The BIG register is a legal, online and public register for Professions in Individual Health Care (Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg).
BIG registration is obligatory for 12 healthcare professions in the Netherlands: clinical technologist, dentist, doctor, health psychologist, midwife, nurse, pharmacist, physiotherapist, physician assistant, psychotherapist, registered dental hygienist (temporary BIG registration) and remedial educationalist.
Only healthcare professionals who are registered in the BIG register, may use the protected professional title and may independently perform the reserved actions associated with the profession. Click here for more information.
Obtaining a BIG registration is an intensive procedure with a lot of steps. Here you can read more about the procedure.
Before starting the procedure you would need to speak Dutch at B2/C1 level. This would most likely also be the case for a residency (coschap).
It may also be useful to check the website of the Association of Foreign Graduate Physicians for more information relevant to your situation.
With regard to learning Dutch you can enquire about available Dutch courses at the municipality (Gemeente) where you are registered.
You can also find some tips on learning the Dutch our website.
The UAF can only help refugees with finding work after they have reached B2 level Dutch. For more information about finding work please see Refugee Help.
The services of the UAF are always complementary to existing government provisions. At the moment we offer information and advice about studying and working.
We can offer some support for IELTS preparation courses and exams.
As a foundation we have limited financial resources and as such we are unable to help Ukrainian students to pay the high (non-EU) tuition fees charged by some universities for the academic year 2023-2024.
We are currently investigating which other support we may be able to offer Ukrainian students. As soon as we have more information we will share it on this website.
RefugeeHelp: the online starting point for refugees in the Netherlands
If you have questions about your situation, RefugeeHelp has the latest information in your own language.
On RefugeeHelp, you can find information about the asylum procedure, returning to your country of origin, family reunification, civic integration, finding work, education and healthcare in the Netherlands. RefugeeHelp also has articles about current events that are important for you to know about.