Maastricht University NL-High Potential scholarship

The Maastricht University (UM) NL-High Potential Scholarship programme offers 24 full scholarships of € 30,000 (including tuition fee waiver and monthly stipend) each academic year for highly talented students from outside the European Union (EU) who have been admitted to a master’s programme at UM.

The Scholarship programme consists of both the High Potential Scholarship (funded by the Maastricht University Scholarship Fund), and the NL Scholarship, which is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in conjunction with Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences. It is aimed at international students from outside the EU/EEA who wish to follow a full degree programme in the Netherlands.

Who is eligible?
Duration of the UM NL-High Potential Scholarship
Amount of the UM NL-High Potential Scholarship programme 2024-2025
Application procedure
Selection procedure
Student testimonials

Who is eligible?

All candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • You hold nationality in a country outside the EU/EEA, Switzerland or Surinam and meet the requirements for obtaining an entry visa and residence permit for the Netherlands.
  • You do not hold a double nationality from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. 
  • You have applied for admission to a participating full-time master programme at Maastricht University (participating programmes) for the 2024-2025 academic year.


  • You meet the specific admission requirements of the UM master programme to which you have applied.
  • You have never participated in a degree-seeking higher education programme in the Netherlands. Students who have completed exchange programmes in the Netherlands are welcome to apply.
  • You are not older than 35 years of age on 1 September 2024.
  • You have obtained excellent results during your prior education programmes, as demonstrated by your latest grade transcript or certified by academic excellence. If several applicants are equally qualified, UM will give preference to applicants whose academic transcript or certified letter of academic excellence demonstrate that they are among the top 5% of the 2024-2025 scholarship programme applicants.

Please note, this is a very competitive scholarship, only 2% of the applicants get awarded the scholarship.

Application deadline
The application deadline is closed

Duration of the NL-High Potential scholarship

  • 13 months for a one-year master programme
  • 25 months for a two-year master programme

Amount of the NL-High Potential scholarship programme 2024-2025

Living expenses15,925* (13 months) or € 30,625* (25 months)Paid to students by the UM International Services Desk
Health & liability insurance€ 700*Arranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
Visa application costs€ 228Arranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
Tuition feesAt costArranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
Pre-Academic Training costsAt costArranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
International Student Ambassador Programme
€ 25 for first block onlyArranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk

*These amounts are subject to change for academic year 2025-2026

Please note that part of the Scholarship is a room that will be offered to you by Maastricht Housing at an average cost of € 600 per month. This is based on a room in the guesthouse with shared shower and toilet rooms (male/female) & kitchen facilities. If you wish to avail of a different room, please keep in mind this will have an impact on your monthly allowance.

The amount of € 15,925 for living expenses (€ 1,225 per month) covers the following expenses and can be broken down as follows (amounts are subject to change):

  • Housing: € 600
  • Groceries and personal hygiene: € 160
  • Telephone: € 60
  • Travel: € 100
  • Books and study materials: € 90
  • Clothing, hobbies and going out: € 125
  • Miscellaneous: € 90

Application procedure

Step 1: Register for one of the participating master programmes at UM (participating programmes)
For further details on how to register for a master programme at UM, please see your prospective programme’s webpage. Once you have submitted your application via Studielink, you will receive a student ID number for UM. You will need a student number in order to complete and submit the Scholarship Application Form (see Step 2 below).

  • Please note: only the master programmes in the list above are eligible for a UM NL-High Potential Scholarship.
  • Please note: you first have to apply for the master programme at UM to receive your student ID, as soon as you have your student ID you can apply for the scholarship. However, you must be conditionally approved for admission to your master programme in order to be awarded a scholarship.
  • Please note: if your study programme requires the payment of a handling fee as part of your programme’s admissions procedure, the UM International Services Desk does not cover handling fees. You are responsible for paying any handling fee your programme may require by 1 February 2024. To check whether your programme requires the payment of a handling fee, please check your programme’s webpage under the menu tab 'Admission requirements'.

Step 2: Please fill in the application form, you need to log in with your UM account
Please use this link to fill out the application form (applications are closed). We can only accept applications via the application form.

Upload the following documents in .doc, .docx or PDF format, and submit your application. Please note that you will only be able to submit your application once, so please ensure that all of your documents and referee contact details are up-to-date. If you have applied for multiple UM study programmes, the UM International Services Desk will ensure that your complete scholarship application is considered for all eligible programmes for which you have a conditionally approved or approved admissions status.

  • Curriculum vitae
    Your CV should be up-to-date, contain relevant information about your education and (job) experience, and should not be longer than two A4 pages.
  • Letter of motivation 
    Please use the template for the motivation letter. This template will focus on your motivation for the scholarship.
  • Proof of academic excellence
    You may upload one of the following documents in order to prove your academic excellence:
    1. Your university transcript that explicitly states your grade point average or class ranking (i.e. first class honours) for your entire study programme; or,
    2. A letter signed by your institution’s Head of Department or Registrar stating that you are one of the top 20 students in the graduating year of your study programme. Please ensure that the letter contains the contact details of your Head of Department or Registrar.
  • Personal statement of financial needs. Please explain why you would benefit from being awarded a scholarship and describe your personal circumstances such as financial difficulty, sole parent/caretaking responsibilities, medical condition, disability, refugee status etc.
  • A reference letter. We have prepared scholarship reference letter guidelines; please forward them to your referee, as they will help your referee to write a good reference letter on your behalf. Please note that referees must be (former) professors, lecturers, or employers, and not family members. Recommendation letters should be dated and written no earlier than February 2023.
  • The contact details of one referee
    Please note that we might check the authenticity of your referee by contacting your referee. Therefore, ensure that you take the following steps when choosing a referee and submitting their details:
    - Relationship to applicant; indicate your referee’s connection to you. Is this your professor, thesis supervisor, employer? Please remember that family members may not function as referees.
    - Work telephone number of your referee; be sure to include the applicable country calling code.
    - Work or institutional email address of your referee. Letters referencing only a personal email address will be rejected. 
Step 1Register for a master
programme via  
Step 2Fill out the application form (applications are closed)  
You need to log in with your UM account

Selection procedure

Step 1: The UM International Services Desk checks if all applications are complete after 1 February 2024.

Step 2: The UM International Services Desk sends all complete applications to each UM Faculty in February 2024.

Step 3: Each Faculty selects and ranks their top 5% of scholarship applicants and sends these to the UM International Services Desk for a final check in March 2024.

Step 4: The UM International Services Desk confirms the Faculty selections by the end of March 2024.

Step 5: The UM International Services Desk will inform all candidates of their application status in April 2024. Your status will be selected, waitlisted or rejected by the beginning of May 2024 at the latest. Waitlisted application statuses will be changed to selected or rejected by May 2024. Scholarship awardees will receive more information about the UM Pre-Academic Training programme and arrival in Maastricht upon receiving their award letters. The UM Pre-Academic Training is a three-week mandatory component of the UM NL Scholarship programme. The Pre-Academic Training takes place in August 2024.

Step 6: You must sign and return the award letter to the UM International Services Desk to accept the scholarship.

Read more about the NL Scholarship 

Please note that the UM NL-High Potential Scholarship is a very competitive scholarship: only 2% of the applicants will be awarded the scholarship.

Student testimonials

FHML - master's in Epidemiology
Suhad Malik Mohamed Elbadawi

Ananda Bajric

FPN - research master's in Neuropsychology

"Thanks to the Maastricht University NL-High Potential Scholarship, I am able to pursue the Research Master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience - specialisation Neuropsychology.

UM is the most intellectually stimulating institution I've studied at so far, and its Problem-Based Learning approach has contributed immensely to my academic and personal development.

Additionally, as UM emphasises collaboration rather than competition, my learning experience has been informed by my enthusiastic classmates with whom I continuously share and discover new insights." 

Ananda Bajric is a Maastricht University NL - High Potential Scholarship student

Ramsha Zaidi

SBE - master's in Learning and Development in Organisations

"The Netherlands has always been my dream destination and receiving the UM-NL High Potential Scholarship was a divine blessing during a challenging phase in my life. The scholarship not only fulfilled my dream but also provided necessary support, turning my dreams into reality. 

Maastricht University has become my second home, offering more than academic excellence; it's a supportive family that encourages personal and professional growth. 

I am currently pursuing my master's in Learning and Development in Organisations and I feel blessed to be a part of the UM-NL High Potential Scholarship community, surrounded by individuals who share a common commitment to academic excellence and personal growth. 

This scholarship is not just financial aid; it's a transformative experience, I am truly grateful for."

Ramsha Zaidi, scholarship student at Maastricht University

Rimshah Zubair

LAW - master's in Globalisation and Law, specialisation Corporate and Commercial Law

"Receiving the Holland High Potential Scholarship has been truly life-changing for me. I have always wanted to pursue a career in corporate law, and this scholarship provided me with the opportunity to study in one of Europe’s best law faculties.

From the moment I was awarded with this scholarship, my career took a remarkable turn. The Problem-Based Learning system at Maastricht University has equipped me with first-hand experience in tackling complex real-life business cases. Under the guidance of distinguished professionals in the field of corporate law, I have refined my legal skills to precision.

Throughout this journey, the scholarship committee members have been my guardians. In addition to financial support, they have facilitated pre-academic trainings, workshops, networking events, and career counselling sessions. This scholarship has not only alleviated financial burdens but has also paved the way for a number of career opportunities within the corporate sector, including institutions such as the European Commission.

Studying at Maastricht University has been an intellectually fulfilling and culturally enriching experience that will forever be in my memory."

UM NL High Potential scholarship student Rimshah Zubair

Leia Bulgakova

FPN - research master's in Cognitive Neuroscience

"Receiving the scholarship to pursue a research master's in Cognitive Neuroscience has truly been a dream come true for me. Even now, I can’t believe my luck. After moving from Uzbekistan to Russia in search of better education, I still felt like I was endlessly seeking a community that truly fit me. This scholarship has allowed me to find that place.

The welcoming environment and compassionate community here make the engaging programme even more enjoyable. The knowledge and skills I acquire here feel like essential steps toward conducting my research and becoming the scientist I aspire to be. The Problem-Based Learning approach turned out to be a good fit for my learning style as well.

I am forever grateful for this incredible journey and the wonderful support I’ve received along the way. This opportunity has not only fulfilled my academic aspirations but also given me the sense of belonging I had been searching for."

Leia Bulgakova, awarded a Maastricht University NL-High Potential Scholarship