We have listed the most frequently asked questions and their answers for you.
Verification of your previous education
Frequently asked questions
Am I admissible with my non-Dutch previous education?
Applicants who apply with a non-Dutch diploma must meet a number of requirements in order to be eligible for admission to our degree programmes.
VU Amsterdam reviews all applications with a non-Dutch diploma individually due to their distinctive nature. Therefore, the only way to determine whether you are eligible for admission is by submitting an official application through Studielink and providing all required documentation in the application portal of your personal VU dashboard.
Further information about the requirements and application procedure can be found on the admission requirement page for Bachelor's and Master's programmes.
How can I verify my non-Dutch diploma?
When you apply through Studielink with a non-Dutch previous education, Studielink will inform you that your diploma cannot be verified automatically. It will request you to send a certified copy of your diploma to VU Amsterdam. VU Amsterdam will verify your diploma.
Unless stated differently in your admission letter, you can send your document by post to:
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Please do not send us the original documents as we are not responsible in case any documents get lost in the process, neither are we able to return the documents or provide copies of the documents in the future when the documents are needed for other purposes.
For some students it is possible to hand in their required certified documents digitally. More information on the requirements and guidelines can be found on this webpage.
What is a certified copy of a diploma?
A certified copy means a copy of your diploma - so not the original diploma - that has an original stamp and signature provided by the awarding institute (your school or university) as proof that it is an identical copy of the original document. Please note that only the original certified copy is accepted – we will not accept scans or copies of a certified copy because their authenticity cannot be verified.
You must present the original diploma when you wish to have the copy certified. A competent authority applies a stamp, signature and date to authenticate the copy. The copy can be certified by:
- The educational institution that awarded you the diploma
- VU Amsterdam Student Desk (when you wish to study at VU Amsterdam)
Please note: If your diploma is not issued in English, German, Dutch, French or Spanish, you must also submit a Dutch or English translation by a sworn translator.
Certified digital documents
A certified digital document is an electronic copy of a student’s degree certificate, academic transcript or other graduation document, the content and authenticity of which can be securely and reliably verified.
Some students may hand in their required certified documents digitally. There are a few requirements. In general, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam currently recognizes and accepts certified digital documents for the academic year 2023-2024 in the following ways/formats:
- Documents shared via the secure electronic system of the issuing university
- Documents shared via a third-party electronic system if this system is clearly mentioned on the website of the issuing university
- Documents that include a verification code or link to be used on the website of the university to verify authenticity and content
- Documents that carry a valid digital signature from the issuing university
More information on the requirements and guidelines can be found on this webpage.
Please note that VU Amsterdam has the right to reject the digital document(s) and/or request a hard copy at any moment in time.
If the authenticity of your digital document needs to be verified on the website of the university, we are only able to do so if the instructions are in one of the following languages: English, German, Dutch, French or Spanish.
Unsure if your digital documents meet the above requirements?
Please submit them regardless. We will review the documents, and get back to you if we are unable to accept them.
Accepted digital documents per country
If you completed your higher education in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain or the United Kingdom, make sure to read the relevant section for any additional information and further guidelines on this page.
What is the examination date of my previous education?
The examination date, also referred to as the ‘graduation date’, is the date stated on your diploma. This means that the examination date is not the same as the date on which you are awarded your diploma, as diplomas are often awarded after the examination date.
Will you receive the diploma of your previous education (only) after 1 September?
A certified copy of your degree must be turned in to VU Amsterdam by 31 August (for starting date 1 September) and 15 July if you are applying for a programme that uses a selection procedure (Numerus Fixus). If you have met all the requirements to graduate before 31 August but are still waiting for the diploma certificate to be issued, alternatively you can ask your university to provide a statement of graduation.
This statement needs to state that you have met all the requirements to graduate before the 1st of September. The confirmation of graduation must be the original letter (on the institution's stationery) and signed by a competent officer, stating the officer's name and position.
The letter must state the date of issuing, the degree/diploma obtained, the official graduation date (the examination date) and the date on which you will receive your diploma. VU Amsterdam's Student Administration reserves the right to reject a statement if the document does not meet our criteria.
Do you have any questions?
Please contact the Student Desk.