Higher education in Holland is known for its high quality and its international study environment. With more than 2,100 international study programmes and courses, it has the largest offer of English-taught programmes in continental Europe.
Dutch higher education has a binary system, which means that you can choose between two types of education:
- research-oriented education, offered by research universities;
- higher professional education, offered by universities of applied sciences.
At a research university you will focus more on research-oriented work, which could be either in an academic or in a professional setting. At a university of applied sciences you can choose a professional programme in the applied arts and sciences, to prepare you for a specific career.
A third, smaller branch of higher education is provided by institutes for international education, which offer programmes designed especially for international students.
In 2002 Holland introduced the bachelor’s-master’s degree structure, but the distinction between the two types of education still exists. Both research universities and universities of applied sciences can award a bachelor's or a master's degree.
You first obtain a bachelor’s degree (first cycle), you can then continue to study for a master’s degree (second cycle). After completion of a master’s programme you can start a PhD degree or PDeng degree programme (third cycle).