The Education System 

The Netherlands has two types of higher education: research universities (14) and universities of professional education or applied sciences (44).

Universities of professional education or applied sciences are primarily practically oriented and prepare students for specific professions, whereas research universities prepare students for independent scientific and scholarly work in an academic or professional setting. All of the HAEC members are research universities.

Research universities basically offer three levels of degree programmes: students first obtain a Bachelor degree, which typically takes three years. A Bachelor’s degree gives access to a Master’s degree programme, lasting one or two years, depending on the field of study. Graduates obtain a Master of Science (MSc) or a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

The third cycle of higher education, leading to a PhD, is offered only by research universities. The major requirement is completion of a dissertation based on original research that is publicly defended. A PhD programme is only accessible after completion of a Master’s degree programme. 

Master programmes

Bachelor programmes