Higher education in The Netherlands
The Netherlands is also known as Holland. The country’s formal name the ‘low country’ while Holland means 'hollow country'. This refers to the fact that much of the land is at or below sea level.
Higher education in The Netherlands is internationally oriented. Almost one fourth of all programmes are offered in English and these programmes attract a lot of students from all over the world. The reputation of Dutch higher education is ensured by its national regulatory framework, its commitment to quality assurance and its obligatory accreditation.
Types of institutions
There are three categories of higher education institutions in The Netherlands:
- Recognised public institutions
There are two types of recognised public institutions: universities of applied science ("hogescholen") and universities.
Both universities and universities of applied science can offer programmes with an academic as well as a professional orientation.
- Recognised private institutions
These institutions do not receive public funding. However, after having completed a special institutional procedure and initial accreditation of their programmes, these institutions are allowed to offer bachelor and master's programmes.
- Privately funded institutions that are not recognised
These institutions are not recognised are only allowed to offer postgraduate programmes. These programmes have to get (initial) accreditation.
Types of programmes
The Netherlands has a three cycle degree structure in line with the European Higher Education Area.
- Bachelor's degrees
- Bachelor's programme (professional orientation)
- Bachelor's programme (academic orientation)
- Master's degrees
- Master's programme (professional orientation)
- Master's programme (academic orientation)
- Doctoral degrees
- Doctoral studies
Overview degree structure