Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS) 2024-2025

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Discover the golden opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree at Leiden University with the prestigious Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS). The scholarship is open for the academic year 2024-2025, inviting exceptionally talented international students to embark on a transformative educational journey in the heart of the Netherlands.

Program Highlights

  • Academic Excellence: The LExS program is designed for individuals with outstanding academic achievements, providing a gateway for them to enroll in a full-time Master’s degree program at one of Europe’s most esteemed institutions.
  • Global Talent Development: Professor at Leiden University, emphasizes the university’s dedication to fostering global talent. The LExS program stands as a testament to this commitment, offering a platform for exceptional students to flourish and contribute meaningfully to their chosen fields.
  • Diverse Disciplines: The scholarship covers a broad range of disciplines, including Humanities, Science, Law, Medicine/LUMC, Archaeology, Governance and Global Affairs, Social and Behavioral Sciences, African Studies Centre, and the International Institute for Asian Studies.

Application Process

Prospective students with a passion for academic advancement and a commitment to global engagement are encouraged to apply. For a step-by-step guide on the application process, visit Leiden University Excellence Scholarships 2024-25 Application Process.

About Leiden University

Founded in 1575, Leiden University stands as one of Europe’s foremost research universities. Renowned for its academic rigor and commitment to excellence, the university offers a wide range of programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across various disciplines.

Degree Level and Available Subjects

  • Degree Level: Masters
  • Available Subjects: Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Science, African Studies Centre, International Institute for Asian Studies.

Scholarship Benefits

The LExS scholarship offers three award levels:

  1. €10,000 towards the tuition fee
  2. €15,000 towards the tuition fee
  3. Covers the total tuition fee, excluding the statutory tuition fee

Note: While the LExS covers a significant portion of the tuition fee, recipients from Non-EEA countries must provide evidence of adequate funds for their student visa/residence permit application.

Eligibility and Application Criteria for Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS) 2024-2025

Eligible Nationalities

The LExS at Leiden University is available to non-EEA/EFTA passport holders. Applicants must possess a passport from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EEA includes EU countries, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Exemption Programs: Certain programs are exceptions to the non-EEA/EFTA rule, including:

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

UK Nationals Post-Brexit: After the UK’s exit from the EU, UK students are now considered non-EEA/EFTA passport holders for LExS eligibility. However, there’s an exception for UK applicants who were already living in the Netherlands and registered in their Dutch municipality’s BRP (Basisregistratie Personen) before January 1, 2021. These applicants might not be eligible for LExS due to their residency status.

Eligibility Criteria

Academic Requirements: Applicants must have demonstrated outstanding academic performance in their previous educational programs relevant to the Master’s program they are applying for. Successful candidates typically rank within the top 10% of graduates from their previous study program. No documentation of ranking is required; this information serves to highlight the level of competitiveness.

Obligations: Recipients of the scholarship (LExS) are required to confirm their acceptance of the Terms and Conditions associated with the scholarship in writing before the award is granted.

Exclusions: Applicants are disqualified from the scholarship if they:

  • Have already completed a Master’s degree at Leiden University (exceptions exist for specific circumstances).
  • Are pursuing an LLM (non-advanced) or MSc program at Leiden Law School.
  • Are enrolling in programs commencing in February at the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Sciences, or Leiden Law School.
  • Do not meet the specified nationality requirements.

Additionally, the LExS cannot be combined with a full scholarship from an external provider. Recipients must inform the scholarships department if they receive such full external funding. However, in certain cases, the LExS might be combined with a partial scholarship from an external source. For more details on this possibility, applicants should contact the Scholarships Team.

Application Process for Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS) 2024-2025

1. Application for Admission:

  • Apply online for admission to your desired Master’s program at Leiden University.
  • Ensure submission well in advance of the LExS deadline, as the application process may take up to 2 days.
  • Pay the application fee if applicable.

2. Checking Eligibility for LExS:

  • After submitting your admission application, revisit the Apply screen in your online application and navigate to the Scholarships section.
  • Eligibility for the LExS will be visible in this section.
  • If the LExS is not visible, it may be due to an incomplete admission application or ineligibility for the scholarship.

3. LExS Application:

  • Express your intention to apply for the LExS.
  • Upload a PDF file (maximum 500 words) containing your LExS motivation letter. This letter should articulate why you deserve consideration for the award.

4. Submission and Changes:

  • Submit your scholarship application before the LExS deadline.
  • Note that once submitted, no changes can be made to the scholarship application, either online or via email.

5. Multiple Program Applications:

  • If applying for multiple study programs or specializations and seeking a LExS for each, submit a separate LExS application and motivation letter for each program.

6. Late Applications:

  • Late scholarship applications will not be considered.
  • Ensure responsibility for submitting both the application for admission and the scholarship application before the LExS deadline.

7. Selection Process:

  • Faculty selection committees will nominate LExS recipients within 6 weeks of the LExS deadline.
  • All applicants will receive an email notifying them about the status of their LExS application:
    • End of November (for programs starting in February)
    • End of April (for programs starting in September)


  • Students are responsible for submitting a complete application following the provided steps and before the specified deadline.
  • Leiden University cannot be held accountable for late or incomplete applications.

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