Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) are higher education institutions with profession-oriented study programmes. Students at these institutions focus on learning how to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice. Various projects, work placements, and internships in national and international companies are part of the degree programmes offered at these universities.
One of the unique features of Dutch vocational institutions is the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) educational approach. This method challenges students to create their own working projects, training them to solve real-world problems and preparing them for a future career in their chosen field of study.
Applied research is another key element of education at these universities. This type of research teaches students to think creatively in order to use innovations from various areas and to find the most effective ways of applying the knowledge they gain.
Practice-oriented education allows students of Dutch universities of applied sciences to become qualified specialists with excellent career perspectives. Most of them (95%) find their first job within a year of graduating.
Universities of applied sciences in Holland offer English-taught international undergraduate and graduate study programmes, short and exchange courses, and preparatory programmes that help prospective students improve their English language proficiency and adapt to living and studying in The Netherlands.
Undergraduate programmes take 4 years to complete and lead to an applied Bachelor’s degree (B). The duration of graduate programmes, leading to the applied Master’s diploma (M), may vary from 1 to 2 years. Several Dutch professional institutions offer their Master’s programmes in collaboration with Dutch and foreign research universities. In these cases, students can obtain a Master of Science (MSc) or Master of Arts (MA) academic degree.
Graduates of Bachelor’s programmes can continue their higher education at the academic level by enrolling in pre-master’s courses at Dutch research universities.
Bachelor (B) → Pre-Master course
Master (M) Master of Sciences or Arts (MSc, MA)
Specialisation and rankings
There are 39 universities of applied sciences in The Netherlands and most of them offer degree programmes in English for international students. Educational fields include economics and business administration, engineering and technology, commerce, finance, leisure, tourism, marketing, healthcare, gaming, and more.
In order to assist prospective students in choosing an appropriate study programme, organisations in Holland issue annual national rankings of the Dutch professional universities.
Watch the movie about universities of applied sciences:
Find more information about certain institutions in our ‘universities’ section.