Friday, October 30, 2009

Netherlands: NUFFIC Fellowships for Master's Degree Programmes


The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are demand-driven fellowship programmes designed to promote capacity building within organizations in 61 developing countries by providing training and education to their mid-career staff members. Half of the available fellowships should be awarded to female candidates and the other half should be spent on candidates from sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from this, priority is given to candidates from priority groups and/or from marginalized regions to be defined by the embassies.

The NFP is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the development cooperation budget.

Program content

The Netherlands’ higher education sector offers a large number of international master’s degree programmes.

They cover almost every field of study, allowing candidates to receive a postgraduate education and to earn a Dutch Master of Arts degree, a Master of Science degree, or a Professional Master’s degree.

Master of Arts and Master of Science
A Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree is an academic degree, usually awarded by traditional universities on completion of a postgraduate research-oriented course of one to two years in duration.

Professional Master
A Professional Master's degree is awarded by different types of institutes of higher education and focuses on more professionally-oriented teaching programmes. Professional Master’s degrees are usually of shorter duration than a research-oriented Master's degree programme. The duration of the programmes varies between 9 and 24 months.

E-learning courses
After a successful e-learning pilot, these programmes and courses have also been added to the NFP Course List. These are indicated on the course list with the term “E-learning”. Special conditions will apply to these courses. These conditions will be announced on the Nuffic website.

Eligibility requirements

If you want to apply for an NFP fellowship for a master’s degree programme you must:
■ be a national of and working in one of the selected developing countries;
■ be a mid-career professional with at least three years' work experience;
■ not have received an NFP fellowship or any other fellowship in the three years prior to the start of the proposed master's degree;
■ have been unconditionally admitted by a Dutch institution to one of the Master’s Degree Programmes on the course list. This means that you must have met all the requirements set by the Dutch institution;
■ have completed an NFP Master’s Degree Programme application form and have submitted all the required documentation to the Netherlands Embassy or Consulate;

■ be nominated by your employer, who pledges to continue paying your salary and guarantees that you will be able to return to an equivalent position at the end of the fellowship period. Partial payment of salary can sometimes be allowed as an exception to the rule. The Netherlands Embassy decides if an agreement between employer and candidate about partial continuation of salary payments is acceptable. It should be noted, however, that NFP allowances are not sufficient to support family members, either in the home country or in the Netherlands;

■ not be employed by a large industrial, commercial, international or multinational organization, which can be assumed to have sufficient resources of its own to finance staff training;
■ offer evidence of proficiency in speaking and writing the language of instruction. If this is English and you have received your tertiary education in any language other than English, you must provide evidence in the form of a score in an internationally recognized test, such as IELTS (with a minimum score of 6.0) or TOEFL (with a minimum score of 550 points on the paper-based test or 213 points on the computer-based test or 79 on the internet-based test). An exception to this rule is made for candidates who have received their tertiary education in the English language and for candidates who have previously attended a course or programme with a Dutch educational institution, but no longer than two years ago;

■ be available for the entire period of the programme and be physically and mentally able to take part in the entire programme;
■ declare that you will return to your home country immediately after the study programme has ended;
■ comply with country-specific rules set by the Royal Netherlands Embassy (for more information please contact the Netherlands Embassy or Consulate in your home country).

Application Procedure

The application and selection procedure for a master’s degree programme consists of the following nine steps, divided into two phases:
Application for admission at a Dutch educational institution
1) You first apply for admission to the master’s degree programme of your choice. Applications should always be directed to the Dutch institution that offers the programme. The deadlines for these applications vary. The master’s degree programmes overview shows the application deadlines for each master’s degree programme.

Download the overview of master's degree programmes starting in 2010 (274 kB)

2) The Dutch institution assesses your application and decides whether or not your educational background and other experience meet the specific requirements for the programme in question. The Dutch institution then informs all applicants of its decisions.

Successful candidates will receive a letter indicating that they have been (provisionally) admitted. Admission must be unconditional in terms of the candidate’s education and language proficiency. Admission may be granted provisionally, subject to the candidate finding suitable funding for the programme.

Candidates are eligible for a fellowship only if they have been admitted to their chosen master’s degree programme and meet all the criteria. Candidates can only apply for a fellowship for one programme per fellowship application deadline. Being admitted to more than one programme with the same fellowship application deadline means that candidates will have to select one programme before applying for a fellowship.

Application for a fellowship
3) After receiving your letter of admission, you can apply for an NFP fellowship by presenting a completed NFP master’s degree programme application form to the Netherlands Embassy or Consulate in your own country, accompanied by the required documentation. Your application should be submitted well before the deadline for applications set by the Embassy or Consulate.

Download the application deadlines 2010 (26 kB)

Download the application form 2010 (59 kB)

The form can also be obtained from the Netherlands embassy or consulate. Some embassies require applications to be submitted in duplicate. In other countries, applications have to be submitted to the embassy through local governmental organizations. You are therefore advised to check any local regulations with the Netherlands embassy in your country. You should NOT send your fellowship application forms directly to Nuffic or to the Dutch provider, but should forward them to the Netherlands embassy or consulate in your own country.

4) The embassy or consulate assesses each application against the criteria listed above. Special attention is given to:

■ whether the application was submitted before the deadline;
■ whether the application stems from multi-year agreements made with selected organizations;
■ whether the candidate has presented a letter of admission to the programme in question;
■ whether the information accompanying the application is complete and correct, and whether the required documentation (such as passport, diplomas and language test) is in order;
■ whether the programme is on the list of master’s degree programmes starting in 2009;
■ whether the programme has added value for the sustainable capacity development of the employing organization and the development of the NFP country;
■ whether the candidate fulfils any other specific requirements set by the embassy, consulate or country in question.
5) The embassies and consulates forward the fellowship applications that meet all of the criteria to Nuffic.

6) Nuffic decides how many fellowships will be available for each programme. The allocation of fellowships between the various programmes is based on the number of eligible applicants for each programme.

7) The Dutch institutions select the candidates who will receive fellowships. The Dutch institution informs all candidates of its decisions, and applies to Nuffic for a grant.

8) Nuffic awards the grant for the Dutch institution to cover the fellowship holders’ expenses, including the tuition fees.

9) The Dutch institutions pay each fellowship holder a monthly allowance for the duration of the master’s degree programme; they also administer the fellowships, make logistical arrangements and assist fellowship holders.

Academic application deadlines

The deadlines for admission to master’s degree programmes vary and can change throughout the year. You should contact the Dutch institution directly for further information. It may occur that the Dutch institution’s deadline for applying for admission to a programme is later than the NFP deadline for fellowship applications. Nevertheless, fellowship applications can not be taken into consideration without a letter of admission to a master’s degree programme. On the master’s degree programmes overview, each entry includes the application deadlines for academic admission. For more detail about its deadline, please visit


Visiting address:
Kortenaerkade 11
2518 AX The Hague
The Netherlands

Postal address:
PO Box 29777
2502 LT The Hague
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)70 - 426 02 60
Fax: +31 (0)70 - 426 03 99


Please kindly mention when applying for this fellowship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator