Language admission requirements for higher education in Dutch

Candidates wishing to take up higher education in Dutch need to fulfil specific admission requirements. Prospective students are only admitted to a programme taught in Dutch if they can prove their knowledge of Dutch is sufficient.                                                                                                
You can prove this in one of three ways: either you have already studied in Dutch, or you have a certificate proving your Dutch proficiency. If you don’t have a certificate, you need to pass a language test. These requirements are explained below:

  1. Completed exams successfully:
    You have successfully completed a minimum of 1 year (60 credits) of either secondary or higher education, taught in Dutch. 
  2. Sufficient knowledge of Dutch:
    You have obtained a certificate awarded by an approved language institute, proving your Dutch proficiency. The following language institutes award certificates:

University language centres:

  • Linguapolis (University of Antwerp)
  • the Leuven Language Institute (ILT - Instituut voor Levende Talen)
  • the Academic Language Centre (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • the Ghent University Language Centre (UCT) 

Centres for adult education (CVOs) (different locations).
 Please note only a few centres for higher education accept CVO certificates.

 If you don’t have a certificate for the required language level, you will need to take a language test. 
There are three language tests:

  • The Interuniversity Language Test (ITNA) -  B2 or C1. This test was developed by the language centres of the four Flemish universities: (KU LeuvenKU Leuven - campus Brussel, the University of Antwerp and Ghent University).This test can be taken during one of the open test sessions at any of the four university language institutes or as the final exam for the Dutch level 5 course taught at those centres. For more information, go to

  • The CNaVT exams

    -  Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT) – B2 (former PTHO) is a language test organised by the Centrum voor Taal en Onderwijs (CTO) at KU Leuven. For further information, go to The Educatief Startbekwaam test is specifically designed for people wishing to take a Dutch-taught university programme.

    Educatief Professioneel (EDUP) – C1 (former PAT). This exam is for those who have neared completion of their education in Dutch as a foreign language. It is also for those who work in a Dutch-speaking academic environment, e.g. as a researcher or lecturer.

  • The Nederlands Staatsexamen II. This exam is organised in The Netherlands, but is also accepted by a number of programmes in Flanders. For more information, go to op  

More information required?

Do you want to know which language level is required for your programme? Please select a programme and click on ‘international students’.

More information about the languages levels can be found here.