European Union Law in the Netherlands - choosing criteria


anonymst
Hello everyone,

I'm planning on doing an LL.M. in European Union Law in 2019/20 and have - due to the unbeatable cost-benefit ratio and my lack of French language skills - basically narrowed it down to universities in the Netherlands (although I am thankful for any alternative, affordable suggestions!).

However, I find it very hard to choose between the many, seemingly all very good universities there and am having a hard time excluding (I know the rankings, of course, but to me they are only one of many factors and seem to be to general as to give you sound information about the "quality" of a specific program at a specific faculty of quite diversified universities).

After a lot of researching and also talking to former LL.M. students (albeit not from the Netherlands), I have come to the conclusion that - apart from (not always comparable) factors like the specific curricula or particularities of the respective cities (eg. housing situation, cost of living,...) - two of the few criteria that really matter, no matter where you do a program, are class size (or staff-student ratio) and the quality and equipment of the respective law libraries (again, I am thankful for objections or any additional criteria I might not have thought of yet!).

I have to say that I might be somewhat spoilt in that regard at my home university, especially after being enrolled in a PhD program there (in national public law), but I'm not very keen on sitting in courses or working groups with 30+ people and having to deal with an ill-equipped library when writing my papers. I do, of course, realize that due to the low fees in the Netherlands you cannot expect miracles. Still, I wonder wether any of you have insights (or red flags?) in that regard, especially for the universities of Leiden, UvA Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen and Tilburg.

Thank you so much in advance!
Hello everyone,

I'm planning on doing an LL.M. in European Union Law in 2019/20 and have - due to the unbeatable cost-benefit ratio and my lack of French language skills - basically narrowed it down to universities in the Netherlands (although I am thankful for any alternative, affordable suggestions!).

However, I find it very hard to choose between the many, seemingly all very good universities there and am having a hard time excluding (I know the rankings, of course, but to me they are only one of many factors and seem to be to general as to give you sound information about the "quality" of a specific program at a specific faculty of quite diversified universities).

After a lot of researching and also talking to former LL.M. students (albeit not from the Netherlands), I have come to the conclusion that - apart from (not always comparable) factors like the specific curricula or particularities of the respective cities (eg. housing situation, cost of living,...) - two of the few criteria that really matter, no matter where you do a program, are class size (or staff-student ratio) and the quality and equipment of the respective law libraries (again, I am thankful for objections or any additional criteria I might not have thought of yet!).

I have to say that I might be somewhat spoilt in that regard at my home university, especially after being enrolled in a PhD program there (in national public law), but I'm not very keen on sitting in courses or working groups with 30+ people and having to deal with an ill-equipped library when writing my papers. I do, of course, realize that due to the low fees in the Netherlands you cannot expect miracles. Still, I wonder wether any of you have insights (or red flags?) in that regard, especially for the universities of Leiden, UvA Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen and Tilburg.

Thank you so much in advance!
quote
moritz.j
Hey there,

I have recently graduated from the University of Groningen with an LL.M. in European Economic Law - so I figured I would reply to your post and try to give you some details on what you are asking about.

Before I get started, I have written two other posts on my programme during the studies (in case you also want to have a look at them, you can find them here https://llm-guide.com/board/europe/groningen-and-utrecht-215596#post-id-215651 and here https://llm-guide.com/board/europe/global-criminal-law-or-european-economic-law-in-groningen-209960#post-id-209969).

The Netherlands is a great choice for an LL.M. programme for sure, I have heard good things all around but was especially happy with my choice to go to Groningen. The two points you mention were perfectly fulfilled there - staff-student-ratio was great (in my year, lectures with 10 to 15 people, sometimes 25; seminars with less than 10 - but that will depend a bit on enrolment next year) and resources were always available and plenty. As I have written on another post, teaching was excellent, a variety of specialist lecturers take you through all relevant aspects of European Economic Law. I found that each lecturer in the programme was very motivated, happy to help and responsive to questions in and outside of class. You get to know them as you take courses during the first semester which is a great advantage to familiarise yourself with possible supervisors and topics for your LL.M. thesis. When you will write the thesis in the second semester you will benefit from less course-workload and more time to do your research. Which, again, brings me to your second question - the quality and equipment of the law libraries. I found all that I needed (from lecture books to specialist academic articles) in the library in Groningen, much of the material is available online so that you are free to work as you wish. Mandatory reading is easily accessible and the library has a shelf reserved for books that are required for courses and can hence not be checked out - so there should be no trouble getting the materials you need.

More broadly, Groningen was a good choice for me because I loved the atmosphere both at university and in the city and because everything was very well organised (the International Office takes great care of the students in the English-taught LL.B. and LL.M., this includes helpful welcome events as well as social gatherings throughout the year).

Just a very final word on the programme, you had asked about European Union Law and I have talked about the "European Economic Law" course, simply due to the fact that this is the one offered in Groningen. Do not be put off by the name of it, the courses include economic law ones where appropriate (internal market law, state aid and competition regulation ...) but also allow you to dig deeper on procedural or human rights law of the EU.

Let me know if you have more questions, I would be glad to help anytime.
Hey there,

I have recently graduated from the University of Groningen with an LL.M. in European Economic Law - so I figured I would reply to your post and try to give you some details on what you are asking about.

Before I get started, I have written two other posts on my programme during the studies (in case you also want to have a look at them, you can find them here https://llm-guide.com/board/europe/groningen-and-utrecht-215596#post-id-215651 and here https://llm-guide.com/board/europe/global-criminal-law-or-european-economic-law-in-groningen-209960#post-id-209969).

The Netherlands is a great choice for an LL.M. programme for sure, I have heard good things all around but was especially happy with my choice to go to Groningen. The two points you mention were perfectly fulfilled there - staff-student-ratio was great (in my year, lectures with 10 to 15 people, sometimes 25; seminars with less than 10 - but that will depend a bit on enrolment next year) and resources were always available and plenty. As I have written on another post, teaching was excellent, a variety of specialist lecturers take you through all relevant aspects of European Economic Law. I found that each lecturer in the programme was very motivated, happy to help and responsive to questions in and outside of class. You get to know them as you take courses during the first semester which is a great advantage to familiarise yourself with possible supervisors and topics for your LL.M. thesis. When you will write the thesis in the second semester you will benefit from less course-workload and more time to do your research. Which, again, brings me to your second question - the quality and equipment of the law libraries. I found all that I needed (from lecture books to specialist academic articles) in the library in Groningen, much of the material is available online so that you are free to work as you wish. Mandatory reading is easily accessible and the library has a shelf reserved for books that are required for courses and can hence not be checked out - so there should be no trouble getting the materials you need.

More broadly, Groningen was a good choice for me because I loved the atmosphere both at university and in the city and because everything was very well organised (the International Office takes great care of the students in the English-taught LL.B. and LL.M., this includes helpful welcome events as well as social gatherings throughout the year).

Just a very final word on the programme, you had asked about European Union Law and I have talked about the "European Economic Law" course, simply due to the fact that this is the one offered in Groningen. Do not be put off by the name of it, the courses include economic law ones where appropriate (internal market law, state aid and competition regulation ...) but also allow you to dig deeper on procedural or human rights law of the EU.

Let me know if you have more questions, I would be glad to help anytime.
quote

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