University of Applied Sciences
A University of Applied Sciences (UAS) is a higher education institution with profession-oriented study programmes. Students at these institutions learn how to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice. Work placements and internships in (inter)national companies often form an integral part of the degree programmes offered at our universities.
There are currently 36 Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, offering a wide variety of high-quality degree programmes in English. Thematic fields include economics, engineering, agro and food, healthcare, art, social studies and teacher training (for primary education).
One of the unique features of our Dutch institutions is the problem-based learning (PBL) approach. This method challenges students to form their own practice-based projects, training them to identify and solve real global challenges thus preparing them for a future career in their chosen field of study. In other words: UAS-institutions apply the concept of ‘learning by doing’! This practice-oriented education allows our students to become qualified specialists with excellent career perspectives: most of them (95%) find their first job within a year of graduating.
The Dutch higher education system
The higher education system in the Netherlands is based on a three-cycle degree system, consisting of a Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degree. The Netherlands has a binary higher education system. Binary in this context means there are two types of higher education: research-oriented and profession-oriented.
- Research-oriented education is traditionally offered by research universities.
- Higher professional education is offered by Universities of Applied Sciences
The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences
The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (Vereniging Hogescholen) unites all 36 government-funded Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The association focuses on strengthening the civic position of Universities of Applied Sciences. To this end the association maintains contacts with a wide range of people and organisations, including journalists, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW, the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland), members of parliament and several ministries. The Dutch Association of Universities of Applied Sciences also functions as an employers' organisation on behalf of Universities of Applied Sciences. As such, it negotiates on their behalf with unions about collective labour agreements.