Holland has two main types of higher education. Research universities focus on independent research-oriented work in an academic or professional setting, while universities of applied sciences (hogescholen) focus on the applied arts and sciences, preparing students for specific professions.
There are fourteen government-funded research universities in Holland. Three of them specialize in engineering and one in agriculture. There is also one open university, specialised in distance learning. These institutions train students in academic study and research, although many study programmes also have a professional component, and most graduates actually find work outside the research community. All of these universities are among the top universities of the world. For more information, visit the website of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands: http://www.vsnu.nl.
Universities of applied sciences
Programmes offered by universities of applied sciences (hogescholen) focus on the practical application of knowledge. Acquiring practical work experience through internships is an integral part of professional study programmes. Holland has 41 government-funded universities of applied sciences. For more information, visit the website of the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences: www.hbo-raad.nl.
Degrees: bachelor, master and PhD
Students who enrol on higher education programmes will obtain a bachelor’s degree upon completion of the undergraduate phase, and a master’s degree upon completion of the graduate phase. Universities and universities of applied sciences award both types of degrees. Universities of applied sciences offer master’s programmes, but no PhD positions.
A research university bachelor’s programme requires 3 years of study (180 credits). Graduates obtain a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (BA/BSc) degree, depending on the discipline. A bachelor’s degree programme offered by universities of applied sciences requires 4 years of study (240 credits). The degree indicates the field of study (for example, Bachelor of Engineering, B Eng).
A master’s programme at a research university requires 1, 2 or sometimes even 3 years (60-180 credits) of study. Graduates obtain a Master of Arts or Master of Science (MA/MSc) degree. A master’s degree awarded in the applied arts and sciences requires the completion of 60-120 credits. Graduates obtain a degree indicating the field of study (for example, Master of Architecture, M Arch).
In Holland, PhD degrees are only offered by research universities. You can find more information about PhD in Holland on the website: www.euraxess.nl.
|Master of Arts (MA): 1-2 years|
|Master of Science (MSc): 1-2 years|
|Bachelor of Arts (BA): 3 years|
|Bachelor of Science (BSc): 3 years|
|Master (M): 1-2 years|
|Bachelor (B): 4 years|
More information on the Dutch higher education system can be found on the Nuffic website.