A degree at a University of Applied Science is typically four years in length and involves a work experience or study abroad element. These universities place greater emphasis on the practical application of the arts and sciences, and class sizes tend to be smaller than 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 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 taught in English. By contrast, the larger Universities of Applied Science offer a range of English-taught courses.
There is almost no overlap between the type of courses offered by a research university and those offered by a UAS. This means that the decision between these two pathways is very much binary (and hopefully quite straightforward).
The two major courses that could 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 of these institutions have started to introduce three-year courses. These fast-track courses often condense the first two years of a degree into one. Some students might be attracted to the idea of graduating early, but keep in mind that these fast track degrees are intensive and not necessarily the best fit for everyone.
Is a University of Applied Science right for my students?
If students at your school are interested in studying in the Netherlands and want to go straight into a practical, work-based approach to learning, they might want to consider a University of Applied Science.
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 Universities of Applied Science