Universities in the Netherlands

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The innovative universities in the Netherlands attract many international students, especially from Germany. The 14 accredited universities in the country each set priorities in their teaching. The right university is available for almost every subject. The Dutch universities are particularly outstanding, for example, in the areas of agricultural sciences, creative industries, high-tech and supply technology, especially when it comes to water.

Under the heading of knowledge transfer, the universities in the Netherlands set themselves the goal of making the findings of their research usable for society. Like Great Britain, they support the Open Access Initiative. This means that publicly funded research is accessible online to as many people as possible.

The numerous study programs in English and relatively cheap tuition fees also enable future-oriented and high-quality studies in the Netherlands, a country that belongs to European Union according to allcountrylist.

The title ” Universiteit

In principle, the name “ Universiteit ” is not legally protected in the Netherlands, so that every institution can initially identify itself as such. The state legally recognizes new universities. When registering, the Dutch-Flemish accreditation organization NVAO ( Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie ) checks the courses offered for accreditation and institutional recognition. Inspectie van het Onderwijs, on the other hand, regularly scrutinizes the form of teaching and student support.

Accredited universities in the Benelux countries receive state funding. Depending on the number of students or graduates, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Society (OCW) primarily distributes the funds. In addition, these universities receive financial support from the Nederlandse Organizatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) (Organization for Research) and the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (KNAW) ( Royal Academy for Arts and Science).

Universities in the Netherlands at a glance

The universities in the Netherlands are spread all over the country. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs, in many cases part-time. Medicine, business administration and education are among the most popular subjects. International students mainly enroll for economics and social sciences as well as for courses in health. A doctorate in the Netherlands is only possible at the university.

The Dutch universities perform extremely well in various university rankings. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2016-2017, for example, lists eight Dutch universities in the top 100. The largest research university, the University of Amsterdam, and the Wageningen University, which focuses on agricultural and environmental sciences, stand out.

Of the 14 accredited universities in the Netherlands, six offer a wide range of courses. A technological focus can be found at the University of Twente, the TU Eindhoven and the DELFT University of Technology. The latter is also renowned for the architecture course.

The oldest university in the Netherlands is Leiden University, founded in 1575, which has produced a number of Nobel Prize winners over the years. The Erasmus University Rotterdam has a particularly international focus and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam focuses on social responsibility, among other things.

At the Open University of the Netherlands, everyone who is of legal age has the opportunity to complete an online course according to their own schedule.

Private versus state

In addition to state universities, there are some private universities in the Netherlands. A major difference lies in the financing. Although many private universities receive financial support from the government, it is usually more expensive to study than at state universities.

The 14 state research universities in the Netherlands have merged to form the Vereniging van universiteiten (VSNU). The association represents the universities vis-à-vis the state or organizations and negotiates joint positions. In addition, the VSNU forms a union for the employees of the universities in the Netherlands.

The study system in the Netherlands compared to Germany

Compared to Germany, the study system in the Netherlands is considered to be more compact and goal-oriented, despite the same qualifications, especially due to the many practical contents. The Hogescholen in particular often align their study programs with the current requirements of the job market.

The application to study in the Netherlands runs straightforward for most degree programs and online through Studielink. With the help of the platform, applicants register at the universities and manage their data. The admission requirements are lower in the Netherlands as there is no Numerus Clausus. If the number of applicants exceeds the available study places, the universities carry out a decentralized selection process. The number of available study places is called Numerus Fixus.

The academic year in the Netherlands also includes a longer lecture period than is usual in Germany. Although the students take fewer courses, these are often more demanding. Thanks to the block system with regular examination periods, the intensive preparation and follow-up work quickly pays off.

Universities in the Netherlands

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