Dutch study option still open for Irish Leaving Certs

The Netherlands might not be on the radar of most Irish Leaving Certs seeking a college place – but believe it or not, it is the second most popular destination for Irish students, after the UK, and annually, around 500 students opt to study there.

The reason those figures are in the news is because the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, has this week announced that an agreement has been reached with Dutch higher education institutions that will allow Leaving Certificate students receiving their Calculated Grades results on 7 September to register to enter higher education in the Netherlands for the 2020/21 academic year.

An agreement has already been reached with UCAS, the UK’s system for entry to higher education, that will enable students receiving their Calculated Grades results to register to attend higher education in the UK in time for the 2020/21 academic year.

The university registration date in the Netherlands is 31 August 2020 but Irish students will be able to register after the 7 September date of release of Calculated Grades results. This has been agreed in the exceptional circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in postponement of the Leaving Certificate examinations.

The agreement was reached following diplomatic contacts at ministerial and official level between Ireland and the Netherlands. While students may miss the orientation period and/or the first classes in college, this will not hinder them in their further studies in the Netherlands.

Minister Foley said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm to Irish students that the Dutch University Association (VSNU) and the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (VH) are advising their members to accommodate Irish students who have applied and who meet the requirements to enter higher education in the Netherlands in 2020.

“Every year approximately 500 Irish students travel to higher education institutions in the Netherlands and I am very aware how important it is that these students have certainty about their future.”

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