Types of higher education institutions in the Netherlands

The main types of higher education institutions in the Netherlands are:

Research Universities (Universiteiten)

Research universities in the Netherlands focus on the independent practice of research-oriented education in an academic or professional setting.

In total, 14 research universities and 8 academic medical centers enroll more than 200.000 students and offer three-year Bachelor's programmes and one or two-year Master's programmes.

Universities of applied sciences (Hogescholen)

In universities of applied sciences (hogescholen), students are trained for independent practice of science. All hogescholen have a more practical orientation and thus, Bachelor's programmes specialising in specific areas last for four years.

It should be underlined that after completing a four-year Bachelor's programme, students can apply for a second Bachelor's or even for a Master's programme in (almost) every university. However, a switch programme (one year) may be required.

International institutions

International institutions are also an option especially for expats, offering specialised programmes, which may well suit the needs of internationals.

Dutch universities & funding

In terms of funding, all Dutch universities and institutions belong to one of the two following categories:

Government-funded institutions, which are legally protected and financially supported by the Dutch government and thus, allowed to offer officially recognised degrees.

Government-approved institutions that are not funded by the Dutch government but preserve the right to offer degrees that are officially recognised.

Complete directories of Dutch institutions listed by the funding criterion can be found on Ib-Groep (in Dutch). For a complete list with all the accredited institutions / programmes click here.

"Study in Holland" introduction film

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