Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS)

The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

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Location (s):

  • Netherlands
Rapenburg 70, 2311 EZ Leiden


For excellent non-EEA/non-EFTA students joining a full-time Leiden University Master's degree programme; and for excellent students of all nationalities joining an LLM Advanced Studies programme or the Master’s in International Relations & Diplomacy.


Application process

  • Apply online for admission to a Master's programme at Leiden University and pay the application fee if applicable.
  • In the scholarship section of your online application, indicate that you wish to apply for a LExS.
  • Upload your LExS motivation letter as instructed in your online application. This is a PDF file of max. 500 words, in which you explain why you would like to be considered for the award.
  • Submit your online application, containing your LExS application, before the LExS application deadline.
  • 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.

Selection process

  • The faculty selection committees will nominate LExS recipients and inform the Scholarships Team, up to 6 weeks after the LExS deadline.
  • The Scholarships Team will notify all LExS applicants of the decisions:
     - At the end of November - for the February intake.  
     - At the end of April - for the September intake.

About us

Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. It has seven faculties in the arts, humanities and sciences, spread over locations in Leiden and The Hague. The University has over 6,700 staff members and 29,520 students. The motto of the University is 'Praesidium Libertatis' – Bastion of Freedom.

Bastion of Freedom

Leiden University's motto is Praesidium Libertatis: Bastion of Freedom. The University has always stood for freedom of spirit, thought and speech as well as freedom in research and teaching. Our aim is to create an environment in which academics and students have the opportunity to excel. We welcome everyone who would like to study or work here and achieve their full potential. The University has a strong sense of societal responsibility, both to society today and to future generations. This means providing excellent research and teaching that make the world a safer, healthier, more sustainable, prosperous and just place – at local, regional and global level.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

For whom

Non-EEA/Non-EFTA* nationals who are applying for a Master's programme at Leiden University - with the exception of regular LLM (non-advanced) programmes, which do not offer LEx Scholarships

Students must have achieved excellent study results in their previous education, this being 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 programme. Note: 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




Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

Scholarship or loan amount

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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