Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS) For All


Applications are being received for the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS). The scholarship program is open for excellent students joining a full-time Leiden University Master’s degree programme, with the exception of LLM (non-advanced) and MSc programmes at Leiden Law School in Holland.

The scholarship is awarded for the duration of the study program. Students who are granted a LExS must comply with, and confirm in writing, their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the awarding of the scholarship. Combining the LExS with another full scholarship from an external provider is not possible. Students are obliged to notify the scholarships department if they receive a full scholarship from another source. In some circumstances, the LExS may be combined with a partial scholarship from an external provider.

Founded in 1575, Leiden University (LEI-Universiteit Leiden) is a public research university that is located in Leiden, Netherlands. The university possesses more than 40 national and international research institutes, seven academic faculties, and over fifty departments. LEI is a member of the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum, and a founding member of the League of European Research Universities. Leiden University consistently ranks among the top 100 universities globally by top-ranking organizations. The university has produced twenty-one Spinoza Prize Laureates and sixteen Nobel Laureates, including Enrico Fermi and Albert Einstein.

Program Details

  • Host Institutions: Leiden University in the Netherlands below.
  • Eligible programs: Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Science, African Studies Centre, International Institute for Asian Studies.
  • Number of awards: Not specified.
  • Duration: Normal duration of the study program.
  • Target group: Open to students from Non-EEA/Non-EFTA students. Exception: All nationalities for Advanced LLMs & MSc International Relations and Diplomacy.


Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Benefits

The LExS is awarded for the duration of the study programme. There are three available levels of awards:

  • € 10,000 of the tuition fee
  • € 15,000 of the tuition fee
  • Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee.

The LExS is not a full scholarship. Non-EEA LExS recipients must still submit ‘proof of sufficient funds’ for their student visa/residence permit application.

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Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Eligibility

To apply for the Holland Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Applicants for all Master’s programs at Leiden University, with the exception of LLM (non-advanced) and MSc program at Leiden Law School.

The following nationalities are eligible to apply : Non-EEA/non-EFTA* nationals who are applying for a Master’s program at Leiden University. Students of all nationalities applying for an LLM Advanced Studies program, or the MSC in International Relations and Diplomacy. Additional note for UK students: As the United Kingdom is now a non-EEA country, students from the UK are now eligible to apply for the LExS. Note: this does not apply to applicants who were already living in the Netherlands and registered in their Dutch municipality’s BRP before 1 January 2021. More information on Brexit can be found in the Brexit dossier.

Students must have achieved excellent academic results in their previous study programme(s), which must be relevant to the Master’s programme for which they are applying. As an indication, the student is amongst the top 10% of graduates in his/her previous study program. Note that proof of ranking is not required – this information is purely to indicate the level of competitiveness.

*EEA/EFTA: All EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.


How to Apply for the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship

Interested applicants who would like to apply for this university scholarship must follow instructions below:

  1. Apply online for admission to a Master’s programme at Leiden University and pay the application fee if applicable.
  2. In the scholarship section of your online application, indicate that you wish to apply for a LExS.
  3. Upload your LExS motivation letter as instructed in your online application. This is a PDF file of maximum 500 words, in which you explain why you would like to be considered for the award.
  4. Submit your online application, containing your LExS application, before the LExS application deadline.
  5. If you apply for more than one study programme and wish to apply for a LExS for each, indicate this clearly in each application and upload a LExS motivation letter for each.

The deadline for application is  for programs starting February. For more info on the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship, please visit the official page.

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