Research universities in the Netherlands (‘universiteiten’ in Dutch) are institutions of tertiary education with a focus on scientific research in an academic setting. These institutions essentially train students in academic study and the application of knowledge and often do not include (mandatory) work experience. However, many of the programmes do also have a professional component and most graduates actually find work outside the research community.

In order to be eligible for admission to an undergraduate programme at a Dutch research university, like the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, you will need to have at least a high school diploma comparable to a Dutch diploma on VWO-level. Check out RSM’s website for any other admission requirements per programme.

Another type of education in the Netherlands is taught by the universities of applied sciences (in Dutch ‘hogescholen’). These institutions offer programmes that focus on the practical application of arts and sciences. Getting practical work experience through internships is an important part of the professional study programmes. For admission into an undergraduate programme at a university of applied sciences, your high school diploma needs to be similar to a Dutch diploma on HAVO level. An example of a university of applied sciences is Hogeschool Rotterdam (Rotterdam University of Applied Science).

Both types of institutions award bachelor's degrees, all research universities and some universites of applied science offer master's degrees. Only research universities offer doctorate programmes. The level attained at both types of university is the same (National Qualification Framework Level 6), however students with a bachelor from a university of applied science generally need to complete a premaster if they would like to do a master at a research university. This is needed to bridge the gap in research and statistics.