Tilburg University: Facts & Figures

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Tilburg University, located in Tilburg in the southern part of the Netherlands, specialises in the social sciences (especially economics) and law.

The school dates back to 1927, though it was originally called the Roomsch Katholieke Handelshoogeschool (Roman Catholic School of Business). The school opened its doors with only 5 professors and 8 lecturers teaching 28 economics students.

In 1963, the school was renamed the Katholieke Economische Hogeschool - Catholic College of Economics - and in 1986 it was renamed again when it bacame a university - Katholieke Universiteit Brabant (Tilburg University). [media:factfile]

Total students enrolled (2010-2011): 13,153

International students: 1,050 (8 percent of the total student population – 39 percent of PhD students are international)

Nationalities: 97

Students make up just over 33% of the city’s population of 203,500

Overall ranking (2010):

  • Best specialist university in The Netherlands, in Elseviers's Higher Education Review 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Tilburg University in the European Top 15 in Economics & Business (PUB, TOP) in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of the World Universities, 2010

Tilburg School of Humanities:

  • #1 Research Influence in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2010-2011

TiasNimbas Business School:

  • #24 worldwide in the annual European Business Schools Ranking in the Financial Times 2011
  • #10 in Europe for the International Executive MBA in Financial Times 2010
  • #21 worldwide for the International Executive MBA in Financial Times 2010

Tilburg University is situated just outside the city centre on a small, green campus. Students live just minutes away and the many campus restaurants and cafés are almost always busy, especially in the warmer months, when the outdoor terraces come to life.

Tilburg is in the southern part of the Netherlands, where people tend to enjoy the good life just a little more than their northern neighbours. Then again, the Netherlands as a whole was just ranked as the third happiest country on the UN’s latest “happiness index”.

For students looking to get involved, there are many student organisations and the sports centre is ranked number one in the Netherlands. 

Hear what international student Akash Arasu told RNW about life at Tilburg University.

Also, check out these videos about students in the bachelor's and master's programmes.

Motto: Understanding society

Tilburg University specialises in the social sciences (especially economics) and law. Research focuses on issues of direct value to society and the school prides itself on inspiring students to make a positive impact on society around them.

Alongside its focus on international issues, the school also aims to attract students from all corners of the world – and, with 97 nationalities on campus, international students certainly won’t feel alone.
Tilburg University offers four bachelor’s programmes in English as well as 32 master’s programmes in English.

Acceptance rates:
Of approximately 2,500 international student applicants, about 40 percent of students were accepted. About 25 percent of those go foward with the programme.

In addition to the academic prerequisites, you’ll also need a good command of the English language. Read more about the language requirements

As an international student, you will also likely need a residence permit and possibly a visa. Read more about those here.

Tuition for Dutch students is set annually by the government. For 2011-2012, this is € 1,713.
Tuition for international students is set by each school individually and varies per academic program.
For non-EEA students, the tuition ranges from € 6,564 for an undergraduate degree to € 10,644 for a master’s degree.

Cost of living:
An example of an overview of average living expenses per month:

  • Accommodation (including gas, water, electricity): € 350 - 450
  • Books and study materials (may vary per study programme): € 75
  • Food, drinks, transportation: € 300
  • Insurances: € 45
  • Other (non-recurrent) expenses:
  • Bicycle (secondhand): € 125
  • Sports card: € 98

Financial assistance:
There are scholarship options for both Dutch and non-Dutch students.

Also see the Nuffic grant finder search engine.

EU students with valid residence permits can also get part-time jobs. Students from outside the EU must get a work permit in order to get a part-time job and, even with this permit, may only work for a maximum of ten hours per week (which can be condensed into 3 months of full-time work).
Read more about this on the Nuffic website.

Although Tilburg doesn’t offer housing itself, the school does help students find housing and guarantees housing for international students that have been offered a spot in a Bachelor, pre-Master, Master or Research Master programme as long as they reserve a room far enough in advance. Housing is all conveniently located within minutes walking distance of the campus. Check out the portal for student housing.

Students at Tilburg University will doubtless enjoy the region’s laid-back lifestyle – where good food, good drink, and an easy-going approach to life are the order of the day. Perhaps that is why the city has so many festivals, including the Tilburg Kermis – the largest fair in the Benelux – which includes Roze Maandag (Pink Monday), a special gay-oriented party day. Other festivals include the Festival Mundial (world culture), Stranger than Paranoia (jazz), Incubate (formerly known as ZXZW), Tilburg Students Festival, and Roadburn Festival.

Of course there are all the usual bars, restaurants, and cafés in the centre of town, as well as the surprisingly large selection of on-campus eateries.

Who’s the boss:
Rector Magnificus: Prof. Dr. Philip Eijlander

Request a brochure here


Visiting address:
Warandelaan 2
5037 AB Tilburg

Phone +31 (0)13 466 9111
E-mail: [email protected]

Mailing address:
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
The Netherlands