Universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands are generally not included in worldwide university rankings. Therefore, Dutch organisations have created their own standards for ranking these types of institutions. There are currently three national rankings that include universities of applied sciences.
The Elsevier Magazine, the Keuzegids and Nationale Studenten Enquete (NSE), are all published on a yearly basis to help students select the right programme and school for them.
Elsevier Magazine survey
Elsevier Magazine, a Dutch weekly magazine, publishes a yearly ranking of the best higher education studies. “De Beste Studies” report ranks schools based on student satisfaction and surveys of teaching staff. Student opinions are calculated using the results of the NSE, while teaching staff is given a survey specially commissioned by Elsevier with results collected from that. Additional information is taken from the Studiekeuze.nl database and edited.
The table below shows 2012 rankings. Elsevier makes a distinction between small-sized universities of applied sciences and large-sized universities (those with more than 2000 students).
The results show the percentage of student satisfaction at each institution with regard to the number of programmes that were evaluated.
|Number of |
Number of programmes
% of programmes
|Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE)||1||10||9||90%|
|NHTV Breda University||2 / 1||12||10||83%|
|Gereformeerde Hogeschool Zwolle||3||5||4||80%|
|Avans University||4 / 2||39||28||72%|
|Zuyd||6 / 3||38||18||47%|
|Hanze UAS Groningen||7 / 4||50||22||44%|
|HZ UAS||7 / 4||25||11||44%|
|Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague||9||5||2||40%|
|HAS Den Bosch||11||8||3||38%|
|Utrecht School of the Arts||12||9||3||33%|
The Keuzegids is the only independent guide, published yearly by the Centrum Hoger Onderwijs Informatie (Higher Education Information Centre). One of the five published reports, ‘HBO full-time studies’ (HBO Voltijd), critically assesses and compares the quality of study programmes of vocational universities in the Netherlands.
Results take into account the perspectives of both students and the universities themselves. Rankings are generally based on data about the programme’s success rates, expert opinions from the accreditation of programmes, and student opinions taken from the results of the NSE.
Nationale Studenten Enquete
The Nationale Studenten Enquete (NSE), known as the National Student Survey in English, is a yearly survey sent out to students following a programme in higher education.
The Studychoice123 Foundation ( in Dutch Studiekeuze123 ), an initiative of higher education organisations, is responsible for the NSE and collaborates with the Ministry of Education.
Studychoice123 asks all higher education institutions to participate in the National Student Survey every year. Questions pertain to the quality of the professors, the study, the skills and training acquired, testing and assessment, and other relevant information. The results of NSE available online in Dutch (see: studiekeuzeinformatie.nl/nse).