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Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LExS) for International Masters Students, Netherlands 2024/2025

Application is now open for the Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LExS). Interested candidates are encouraged to send their applications in before the deadline date.

About Leiden University and Scholarship

Leiden University, abbreviated as LEI (Dutch: Universiteit Leiden), is a distinguished public research institution located in Leiden, Netherlands. Being the oldest university in the Netherlands, it was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange. It has a rich and distinguished past. Leiden University, founded as a Protestant university, has evolved into a globally known center of academic achievement.

During the Dutch Golden Age, Leiden University gained notoriety for its emphasis on historical foundations and social sciences. The Dutch Republic became known as a hub of intellectual tolerance at this crucial time, drawing thinkers from all around Europe. René Descartes, Rembrandt, Hugo Grotius, Christiaan Huygens, Baruch Spinoza, and Baron d’Holbach were a few of the eminent thinkers who came to Leiden during its heyday as a center for scholarship.


Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LExS) is a noteworthy initiative that reflects the university’s dedication to scholastic achievement. Supporting worthy non-EU/EEA applicants in their pursuit of master’s degrees at Leiden University is the aim of this program.

Furthermore, it provides financial aid to outstanding students of all nationalities enrolled in particular programs, such as the MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy or the Master of Law Advanced Program. The LExS program is a shining illustration of the university’s commitment to attracting and developing outstanding talent from throughout the world.

Details about Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LExS):

Scholarship Sponsor: Leiden University, Netherlands

Scholarship Value: Up to € 15,000

Number of awards: N/A

Study level: Masters

Host Institution(s): Leiden University, Netherlands


The length of the study program is covered by the LExS award. Three different prize levels are available:

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

There is a limit to the LExS scholarship. Applications for student visa/residence permit applications from non-EEA LExS holders still need to include “proof of sufficient funds.”

Eligibility Criteria for Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LExS)

Candidates for any Master’s program at the University of Leiden, excluding:

  • The MSc and LLM (non-advanced) programs at Leiden Law School.
  • Study programs at Leiden Law School, the Faculty of Humanities, and the Faculty of Sciences will begin in February.

Nationality Requirements:

A non-EEA/non-EFTA* passport is required of applicants, and they could not be eligible for student funding through the Dutch government (Studiefinanciering) unless they are enrolling for one of the following programs, for which there are no nationality restrictions:

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

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

Academic Requirements:

The Master’s program for which the applicant is applying requires that the student have attained exceptional academic standing in their prior course of study.

Selection Process

  • The faculty selection committees shall propose their LExS awardees no later than six weeks from the date of the LExS deadline. 
  • An email will be sent to each applicant informing them if they have been granted an LExS:
    • At the end of November (for programs starting in February)
    • At the end of April (for study programs starting in September)

Application Procedure for Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LExS)

  • Apply online for admission to Leiden University’s Master’s program, and if necessary, pay the application cost.
    • Note: Start your application well in advance of the LExS deadline, as it can take up to two days to create and submit. 
  • Return to the Apply screen after submitting your admissions application, then choose Scholarships in your online application. If you are eligible, the LExS application will now be accessible in the scholarship area.
    • Note: You have either not yet submitted your admissions application or are not qualified for the LExS if you are unable to view the LExS in your scholarships area.
  • Upload your motivation letter for the program after declaring that you would like to apply for the LExS. This must be a 500-word or less PDF document in which you should state your eligibility for the award.
  • Apply for a scholarship before the LExS deadline. Please be advised that you will not be able to edit your scholarship application online or by emailing new materials after it has been submitted.
  • You must submit a separate online application for admission along with a motivation letter if you are enrolling for more than one study program or specialization and would want to apply for a LExS for each.

Note: Late scholarship applications won’t be taken into account. The student must make sure that their admissions and scholarship applications are completed and submitted by the LExS deadline.

You can visit the official website for further details.

The Application Deadline is: Not Specified

Not interested in this particular scholarship? See other Netherlands scholarships here.