Research universities in the Netherlands

Research universities in the Netherlands

Research universities in the Netherlands

  • Originally founded in 1842 as a royal academy for civil engineers, TU Delft has grown into one of the Netherlands’ premier technological universities. TU Delft places great emphasis on science and engineering, and its faculties include Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering and Geosciences, and Maritime and Materials Engineering, among others. TU Delft also works with Dutch and foreign educational and research institutions, government and industry.

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  • Eindhoven University of Technology specialises in engineering science and technology, with an emphasis on translating results into real innovations that can be developed into new products, processes and businesses.

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  • Named after the famous Dutch Renaissance humanist and theologian, Erasmus University Rotterdam began as a school of commerce in 1913, later incorporating Law, Social Sciences, Humanities and Business Administration faculties before finally merging with the Medical Faculty Rotterdam. Erasmus University Rotterdam describes its core disciplines as health, wealth, governance and culture; and its principal task as "the generation and transfer of knowledge proceeding from a high degree of social engagement."

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  • Leiden was the Netherlands’ first university, founded in 1575, and is one of Europe's leading research universities. Its faculties include Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine, Law, Social and Behavioural Science and Science. Within and across these, Leiden University has research themes that offer opportunities for high-level research while reflecting important social and global concerns.

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  • Maastricht University, founded in 1976, has an international focus and specialises in three main areas: Life Sciences, Innovation and Governance. It also uses Problem-Based Learning, an education system focused on exchanging knowledge in a challenging and effective way.

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  • The Open University offers Bachelor and Master programmes for distance learning, which is especially helpful for those who have trouble physically attending (e.g. work, family responsibilities, disability). Although a few courses are offered in English, the majority are still in Dutch. For those with a good command of Dutch, however, the Open University offers many flexible study options.

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  • Radboud University is situated in Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands. It is an interdisciplinary research university with a focus on students as active participants in academic life and debate. Radboud University has faculties in Law, Arts, Science, Social Sciences, Medical Sciences and Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, as well as the Nijmegen School of Management.

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  • Tilburg University specialises in social sciences and humanities, with faculties in Law, Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences and Theology. It is known as a specialist university as it offers a wide programme of interdisciplinary research streams and also houses one centre of the TiasNimbas Business School.

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  • The University of Amsterdam began in the Golden Age as a school to train students in trade and philosophy, the Netherlands’ great specialities of the time. Now it is a large university with seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry.

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  • As well as having the distinction of being 400 years old, Groningen University also produced the first female student and first female lecturer in the Netherlands. Groningen Univeristy offers programmes in a full range of academic areas, including in specialist faculties for Philosophy, Medical Science and Spatial Sciences.

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  • The University of Twente has a focus on technology and behavioural and social sciences, a multidisciplinary approach that is designed to create scientific and social innovations. The University of Twente is also highly entrepreneurial: the university has generated more than 700 successful companies and even the campus is full of businesses.

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  • Utrecht University is one of the highest-ranked universities in the Netherlands. A leading research institution, it also has the widest range of English-language programmes in the Netherlands and thousands of international students every year. The large mix of nationalities also feeds into the university’s international perspective, also seen in its 12 Nobel Prize winners.

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  • The Free University Amsterdam, founded in 1880, was originally only for Reformed Christians, but is now known for its open organisation and its emphasis on social involvement. Its streams include Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World (technological and digital innovations) and Professional Services, which are designed to help students look beyond the boundaries of specific disciplines and make use of their knowledge beyond academia.

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  • Wageningen University is the only university in the Netherlands that specialises in researching the links between healthy food and the living environment. It does this by looking at climate change, unhealthy lifestyles, pressures on the natural environment and animal welfare. A small but growing university, it offers programmes in Food, Earth and Environment, Technology, Health, Economics and Social Sciences, and Nature and Agriculture.

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