Top Universities for PhD Study in the Netherlands in 2023 |

Top Universities for PhD Study in the Netherlands in 2023

Written by Ben Taylor

Despite its relatively small size (both in terms of area and population), the Netherlands has long had a reputation for research excellence, which is reflected by the strong performance of its universities across the main ranking systems. As the birthplace of the renaissance scholar Erasmus, who lends his namesake to the European exchange programme, the Netherlands is also extremely well-connected to international research networks.

This page summarises the best universities in the Netherlands according to three of the main ranking systems, showing how they stack up against institutions around the world.

Top ranked Dutch universities for PhD study

These are a selection of the top Dutch universities, according to global rankings. For more information on how they work, check out our guide to PhD rankings.

Top Dutch Universities in 2023
University THE 2023 QS 2023 ARWU 2022
Wageningen University and Research59124151-200
University of Amsterdam6058101-150
Utrecht University66=11254
Delft University of Technology70=61151-200
University of Groningen7514566
Leiden University77=131101-150
Erasmus University Rotterdam80=20887
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam121214151-200
Radboud University Nijmegen=139232101-150
Maastricht University145278201-300
Eindhoven University of Technology 201-250 138 301-400
Tilburg University 251-300 =398 601-700
University of Twente 251-300 =212 401-500
Information in this table is based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their websites for more information.

So, how good are universities in the Netherlands for PhD study?

Dutch universities represent an excellent choice for international PhD students. The Netherlands has seven institutions in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which is testament to the quality of research its universities produce. This is extremely impressive given the size of its higher education sector.

Research universities in Holland benefit from advanced facilities and generous government investment, making them a great destination for researchers.

Search for a PhD in the Netherlands

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse PhDs in the Netherlands on or read our guide to studying a PhD in the Netherlands.

Last Updated: 18 November 2022