A degree at a University of Applied Science will typically be four years in length and involve a work experience or study abroad element. These universities will place greater emphasis on the practical application of the arts and sciences. Class sizes at a University of Applied Science tend to be smaller than those in research universities.
Degrees conferred by UAS are called Applied Science Bachelor’s, Programme of Professional Higher Education or HBO (vocational) Bachelor’s.
Examples of the kinds of courses offered at a UAS in the Netherlands include:
- Hotel Management
- Teacher Training
- Process & Food Technology
- International Game Design & Architecture
There are 41 Universities of Applied Science in the Netherlands. Some are very small, and may specialise in a particular field. A smaller UAS is less likely to offer courses in English; by contrast the larger Universities of Applied Science will offer a range of English taught courses.
There is almost no overlap between the type of courses offered by a research university and that offered by a UAS. This means that the decision between these two pathways is very much a binary one (and hopefully quite a straightforward one).
The only two courses that may be offered by both types of university are law and business. The difference at a University of Applied Science is that students would be introduced to the more practical, work-based elements of business and law straight away.
Whilst the majority of degree courses at a University of Applied Science are four years, some have started to introduce three year courses. These fast track courses will often condense the first two years of a degree into one year. While some students will be attracted to the idea of graduating early, these fast track degrees are intensive and aren’t the best fit for everyone.
Is a University of Applied Science right for my students?
If there are students at your school who are interested in studying in the Netherlands, then they may wish to consider a University of Applied Science if they want to go straight into a practical, work-based approach to learning.
For the same reason, these universities might not be the best fit for students who are looking for an academic experience at university.
Examples of a University of Applied Science