Our universities of applied sciences (UAS) invested heavily in the internationalisation of education and research. This provides added value to the quality of our higher education, and gives our students a head start in their future careers. In addition, international students directly contribute to the Dutch ‘knowledge economy’: international talents that stay in the Netherlands after graduating contribute an estimated EUR 1.57 billion to the Dutch economy. The open and international character of Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences is one of the reasons that the Netherlands is a leader in the fields of education and research. We therefore continue to commit to:
- contributing to the high quality of Dutch education and research;
- reinforcing the international position of the Netherlands as a knowledge society, also with a view to global challenges;
- ensuring the education provided is a factor in addressing the needs of and the shortages in the employment market.
Applied Research with Sustainable Impact
‘Scientific understanding and practical experience are like two legs without which we cannot walk’, said the Chilean biologist and philosopher Francisco Varela. In other words: theory and practice are interconnected. Therefore our institutions concentrate on the further development of practical research as an important spearhead. We do this through national research budgets, but also by participating actively in European research programmes such as Horizon 2020 and INTERREG. In most cases such research projects are conducted in close cooperation with small and medium-enterprises., academia and public sector (in other words: the triple-helix).
On a National Level - Positioning practice-oriented research
In our ‘Research with Impact’- agenda (2016) our Universities of Applied Sciences presented ten topics on which they focus their research efforts:
- Health and vitality
- Education and talent development
- Resilient society: in the neighbourhood, city and regional level
- Smart technologies and materials
- The built environment: sustainable and habitable
- Sustainable transport and intelligent logistics
- Sustainable agriculture, water and food supply
- Energy and energy supply
- Art and creative industry
- Entrepreneurship: responsible and innovative
On a European level - UAS research through Interreg and Horizon 2020
- Interreg is one of the European research instruments to stimulate cross-regional partnerships. The total budget is 10,1 billion EUR (between 2014-2020).
- 16 of our Universities of Applied Sciences are actively participating in Interreg-programmes, covering a wide area of topics such as high-tech systems, circular economy and fostering youth entrepreneurship.
- One of the key elements is co-financing: between 40 and 50% is covered by the European Union, while the rest comes from local partners (such as provinces). In total the EU provides nearly 130 million EUR for the Interreg-projects in which our UAS participate.
- By forming Smart Partnerships for Regional Impact, our UAS institutions work together on innovative practice-based projects together with local businesses and public sector that are strongly embedded in the region. For example: in Interreg A (Germany-Netherlands) in 70 to 80% of the projects local SME’s are involved.
- With a total budget of 74 billion EUR Horizon 2020 is the biggest research-and innovation programme funded through the European Union.
- At the moment 15 of our institutions have been granted a research fund. This number is steadily increasing.
- 64% of the Horizon 2020-projects in which our UAS participate focus on the Societal Challenges-pillar, in many cases a University of Applied Sciences cooperate with local businesses
How We Do It : Partnerships!
Innovations and technological developments proceed at such a high pace that we need our teaching staff and students to be up to date with the latest knowledge. Consequently, the (inter)national business community is requiring from our future graduates that they are able to connect the attained theoretical knowledge to practical skills. A concrete example of how we do this are the Centres of Expertise. In these Centres our Universities of Applied Sciences form partnerships with (local) businesses and public sector in which our students and teachers jointly work on solving real-life issues.