Kennisbank / English

The Dutch higher education system

The Netherlands is a leading knowledge economy with state of the art facilities and a strong international position and world-class reputation. The high educated inhabitants enjoy good quality of life in a safe and secure environment. The two-tier system offers a broad spectrum of educational programs and a continuum of research from fundamental research to applied research and science. The system offers great opportunities for collaboration between research universities and universities of applied science bringing out the best of both. The degrees offered provide the knowledge and skills for lifelong learning.

Universities of Applied Sciences

  • Mission: higher professional education and applied research with a strong orientation towards professional practice.
  • Strong focus on high quality bachelor programs and offering master programs.
  • Every study program is based on a professional profile, established in close cooperation with the employers of the relevant field.
  • Research at a UAS is demand-driven, in cooperation with stakeholders: SMEs, business and the public sector.

Research universities

  • Mission: academic education, research and knowledge valorization. Education and research closely interwoven.
  • All research universities offer outstanding undergraduate and graduate degree programs: bachelors – masters – PhDs.
  • All Dutch research universities are placed in the major worldwide rankings making them part of the top-2% of the world.3
  • Large number of publications with high impact (citations).

More information about the Dutch higher education system can be found here (external website).


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