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.
In the Netherlands 14 UAS decided to work together for a stronger voice in Europe, and to increase access to European networks and funding. We call ourselves UASNL, Universities of Applied Sciences Netherlands. UASNL focuses their international profile around applied research and innovation. This is a problem-oriented approach to research, often in a triple or quadruple helix model with societal partners, SME’s and businesses.
Applied research contributes to a future-proof labour market and makes sure the UAS stay vital and innovative. The UASNL focus on one or more of the societal challenges that we deal with in The Netherlands, but also tackle global challenges. The UN SDG act as a strategic guideline from where specific research is being designed. Questions that are being tackled are for example: ‘Do cybercriminals have other habits than offline criminals?’, or ‘what does it take to make the flats build in the ’70 energy neutral?’. This societal focus is shown in the ten topics that the UASNL work with.
These topics are:
- Health: care and vitality
- Education and talent development
- Sustainable society: in the neighbourhood, city and region
- Smart technology and materials
- Build environment: sustainable and liveable
- Sustainable transport and intelligent logistics
- Sustainable agriculture, water and food provision
- Energy and energy supply
- Art and creative industry
- Responsible and innovative entrepreneurship
Some UAS focus on one of these topics, but often multiple topics are tackled in different research groups within one UAS. In most cases regional challenges are leading in the specific challenges that the UAS focuses on. All UASNL have research groups build around a societal challenge, often with a Center of Expertise (CoE). A CoE is a partnerships which involves one or more UAS, companies, governments and other public organisations. Here they experiment, innovate and invest in societal challenges such as the energy transition, healthy ageing or futureproof sustainable water supplies.
UAS place a strong emphasis on a deep entanglement of providing high-quality higher education, scientific research and social services, which translate into practical training, practical applications and practical innovation. In UAS, knowledge valorisation and practice-oriented scientific research is intertwined with the educational activities, such as labs, projects and, not the least, through internships and workplace learning. This professional orientation during their studies makes the UAS student a useful contributor to the labor market and increases the graduate’s working life and employability skills. In addition, UAS students from time to time also participate in practical research tasks that culminate in innovation projects, which teachers have agreed on with the employer. This provides a win-win situation for both UAS and the employer.
Please find the individual UASNL members below, with a link to their research website.
UASNL actively participates in UAS4Europe, a Europe wide organisation for Universities of Applied Sciences. You can find more information here.