Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme 1037 views

Type of Funding

Partially funded




Leiden University is inviting excellent students from non-EEA and non-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries who are enrolling in a full-time Leiden University Masters degree programme and those from all countries around the world who are enrolling in a LLM Advanced Studies programme or the Master’s in International Relations & Diplomacy in AY 2020/2021, to apply for the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme (LExS).

Eligible Masters programmes are those in the faculties of: Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science, Interfacultair Centrum voor Lerarenopleiding, Onderwijsontwikkeling en Nascholing (ICLON), African Studies Centre, and International Institute for Asian Studies.

These partial scholarships are applicable to those applying for studies commencing February 2020 and September 2020.


Scholarship amounts awarded are towards tuition fees, and there are 3 types of scholarship awards: 1) €10,000, 2) €15,000 and 3) the total tuition fee less the statutory tuition fee.

The LExS is awarded for the duration of the study programme.


There are 2 groups of eligible applicants:

  • Non-EEA/non-EFTA nationals who are applying for a Masters programme at Leiden University. EEA and EFTA countries are all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. However, LLM (non-advanced) programmes are ineligible for the scholarships.
  • Students of all nationalities from around the world applying for an LLM Advanced Studies programme, or the MSC in International Relations and Diplomacy.

There is a special condition for UK students: if there is no deal specifying otherwise, after Brexit day, UK citizens will be required to pay the same tuition fee as non-EEA/non-EFTA students. If this occurs, UK students will become eligible for the LExS. Therefore, UK nationals are now permitted to apply for the LExS for study programmes for admission February 2020. But if there is a deal, LExS applications from UK nationals will be cancelled.

Applicants must possess excellent academic results in their previous study programme(s), which must be relevant to the Masters programme for which they are applying. Generally, this means that the applicant should be among the top 10% of graduates in his/her previous study programme.

Applicants must have a non-EEA/non-EFTA passport and are not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans (Studiefinanciering) – with the exceptions of students applying for the programmes listed below, for which no nationality restrictions apply:

  • All LLM Advanced Studies programmes and
  • MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Those who already have obtained a Leiden University Masters degree are not eligible, with the exception of students applying for a Masters programme for which a specified previous Masters programme or work experience is mandatory (e.g. LLM advanced studies programmes).

It is not possible to combine the LExS with another scholarship financed by Leiden University; or to combine the LExS with another full scholarship from an external provider.


Applications are to be done online by 1 October 2019 for all programmes commencing 1 February 2020 and by 1 February 2020 for programmes commencing September 2020. The exception is for those applying for LLM Advanced Studies programmes commencing September 2020, whose application deadline will be 1 March 2020.

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