Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LexS)

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The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme (LExS) is a fantastic opportunity for exceptional students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries to pursue a full-time master’s degree at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Host Institution(s):

The scholarship is provided by Leiden University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the Netherlands.

Level/Field of Study:

The LExS is available for all full-time Master’s programs at Leiden University, except for the LLM (non-advanced) and MSc programs at Leiden Law School.

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Number of Awards:

The number of scholarships awarded and their types depend on the budget allocated to each Faculty department.

Target Group:

The LExS is exclusively for non-EEA/non-EFTA nationals. EU countries, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are considered part of the EEA/EFTA.

Scholarship Value/Duration:

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship offers three different awards:

  1. €10,000 towards the tuition fee
  2. €15,000 towards the tuition fee
  3. Full tuition fee coverage (minus the statutory tuition fee)

It’s important to note that the LExS is not a full scholarship. Recipients from non-EEA countries are still required to provide proof of sufficient funds for their student visa/residence permit application.

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To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have demonstrated outstanding academic achievements in their previous education, especially relevant to the Master’s program they are applying for. Generally, applicants should be within the top 10% of their previous study program, although no specific ranking proof is required.

Additionally, applicants must hold a non-EEA/non-EFTA passport and must not be eligible for financial support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans, with a few exceptions mentioned for specific programs.

Application Instructions:

To apply for the LExS scholarship, students must first submit an online application for admission to a Master’s program at Leiden University. During the application process, candidates should indicate their interest in the LExS scholarship in the relevant section and upload their letter of motivation for the scholarship.

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The deadlines for applications are 1 February for programs starting in September and 1 October for programs starting in February.

For detailed information on the application process and to access the online application form, please visit the official scholarship website at:

Embark on your academic journey with the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship, and take your master’s studies to new heights at one of Europe’s leading research universities!

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