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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Netherlands: NFP - Fellowships for master's degree programmes 2007

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NFP - Fellowships for master's degree programmes - 2007

- Introduction

- Eligibility

- The application and selection procedure

- Deadline for applications

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. 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. 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. An NFP fellowship, which is granted for the duration of the programme, is intended to provide a contribution towards the costs of living, to cover the costs of tuition fees, and the cost of visas, travel, insurance, thesis research, etc .as specified in the NFP booklet ‘Rules and regulations for fellowship holders’. This booklet can be downloaded soon.

NFP fellowships can be obtained for a selected number of programmes. The list of eligible master’s degree programmes can be downloaded (as pdf, 109 kB). It should be noted that this list is a provisional list, based on a survey conducted among all potential Dutch providers in early 2006. This website should be consulted for the latest information, because information may be altered and programmes might be added well into 2007.

A candidate applying for an NFP fellowship for a master’s degree programme must:

be a national of and working in one of the 57 developing countries on the list;
have been unconditionally admitted by a Dutch institution to one of the master’s degree programmes on the course list. This means that the applicant 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 his or her employer, who pledges to continue paying the candidate’s salary and guarantees the candidate 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. It is up to the Dutch embassy to decide if anagreement between the employer and the candidate about partial continuation of payment of salary is acceptable. It should be noted, however, that the 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 staf ftraining;

offer evidence of proficiency in speaking and writing the language of instruction. If this is English, candidates who have received their tertiary education in any language other than English must provide evidence in the form of a score in an internationally recognized test, such as IELTS (a score of at least 6.0) or TOEFL (a score of at least 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 four 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 they will return to their home country immediately after the study programme has ended.

Joint or Double Degree Programmes
A number of master's degree programmes take place, either in whole or in part, in one of the NFP countries, for example as a “joint programme” or as a “double degree programme”. In these cases, the Dutch institution and the partner institution in an NFP country deliver the programme together. NFP fellowships will be available only for participants originating from the NFP country where the course (or part of the course) takes place and for participants originating from a neighbouring country.
A number of master’s degree programmes take place, partly or as a whole, in non-NFP countries. For these programmes there are no restrictions on the nationality of participants. These programmes also lead to a Dutch degree.

The application and selection procedure
The application and selection procedure consist of the following steps:

Application for admission at a Dutch educational institution:
1) Applicants first apply for admission to the master’s degree programme of their choice. Applications should always be directed to the Dutch provider of the programme. The deadlines for these applications vary. The master’s degree programmes overview (download as pdf, 109 kB) provides the academic application deadlines for each master’s degree programme.

2) The provider assesses the application and decides whether or not the applicant’s educational background and other experience meet the specific requirements for the programme in question. The provider 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 their letter of admission, candidates can apply for an NFP fellowship by presenting a completed NFP master’s degree programme application form to the Netherlands embassy or consulate in their own country, accompanied by the necessary documentation. The application should be submitted well before the deadline for applications set by the embassy or consulate (download as pdf, 43 kB). The application form can be downloaded (as pdf, 103 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 embassies through local governmental organizations. Candidates are therefore advised to check any local regulations with the Netherlands embassy in their country. Candidates should NOT send their fellowship application forms directly to Nuffic or to the Dutch provider, but should forward them to the Netherlands embassy or consulate in their 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 2007;
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.

Important news from the embassies.

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 provider then selects the candidates who will receive fellowships. The provider informs all candidates of its decisions, and applies to Nuffic for a grant.
8) Nuffic awards the grant for the provider to cover the fellowship holders’ expenses, including the tuition fees.
9) The Dutch providers 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 give guidance to the fellowship holders.

Deadline for applications
Academic application deadlines
The deadlines for admission to master’s degree programmes vary and can change throughout the year. You should contact the Dutch provider directly for further information. It may occur that the provider’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.

Fellowship application deadlines
There are two fellowship application deadlines for master’s degree programmes; one for programmes starting in the first quarter of 2007 and one for programmes starting in the third quarter of 2007. The specific embassy deadlines for NFP applications can be downloaded (as pdf, 43 kB)

A letter of admission should be in the candidate’s possession well before the embassy’s deadline for submitting fellowship applications. Therefore, candidates are strongly advised to start the application procedure for admission as early as possible.

There is a good reason why NFP deadlines are scheduled so far in advance. Candidates need time to prepare for a long stay abroad. It takes at least three months to obtaina visa, for example, and other logistical arrangements also take time. The Dutch providers will inform all candidates of their decisions.

Download the application form (as pdf, 144 kB)

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