Code of Conduct

Code of conduct with respect to international students in Dutch higher education

Considering that Dutch higher education aims to further improve and strengthen international co-operation, and The Netherlands wishes to brand itself abroad as a knowledge society together with its higher education institutions higher education institutions, in principle, give equal treatment to Dutch and international students, but that information to and care for international students require further regulation to some extend, which the higher education institutions aim to achieve with this code of conduct.

The higher education institutions wish to attract good international students and to establish a streamlined and co-ordinated guideline for the relation between international students and Dutch institutions using this code of conduct. The code of conduct is supplementary to the existing legal framework, e.g. Article 3.41 of the Immigration Decree 2000 (Vreemdelingenbesluit) and Chapter B6 of the Immigration Act Implementation Guidelines 2000 (Vreemdelingencirculaire).


It is important for the higher education institutions to give international students a clear and unambiguous picture of the Dutch higher educational system and the education provided in accordance with the description in the Diploma Supplement as established by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). Within that framework, the higher education institutions wish to provide clear and accessible information on the quality of the study programme, the position it has within the Dutch system, the services and provisions offered to international students, the costs of study and living, as well as the admission requirements for international students.

The higher education institution may only use the government's internationalisation policy instruments when they provide good care for international students and the government considers that the higher education institutions that subscribe to, implement and apply this code of conduct will offer good care for international students.

The Dutch government has decided that the signing of the code of conduct by the higher education institutions is a pre-condition for granting a residence permit to non-EU residents for study at the level of higher education.

Read the complete text of the Code of Conduct