The Dutch higher university education system, consists of two paths: the so called “Research Universities” and the “Universities of Applied Sciences”.
Research Universities are mainly responsible for offering research-oriented programmes in an academic setting.
Universities of Applied Sciences offer programmes, that focus on the practical application of arts and sciences. These tend to be more practice oriented than programmes offered by Research Universities and they prepare students for specific professions.
Study programmes at both Dutch Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences in Holland, are build up in a similar way. They are divided in a Bachelor’s programme, followed by a Master’s programme, depending on the specialization. This can be followed by research for a doctor’s degree (PHD).
All Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences stand in high regards all over the world and have an excellent reputation for being some of the world’s best higher professional education institutes. Graduates from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences, receive a high level vocational education and as specialized professionals are sought after around the world.
The largest Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences enroll 20,000 to 40,000 students. Altogether, some 446,000 students from over 100 countries around the world, study in professional programmes at the Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences.
|Universities of Applied Sciences
|Practically oriented (specific work assignments in companies and organizations)
|Theoretically oriented (abstract assignments, where you do research)
|Obligatory internship practice at a company
|An internship practice sometimes is possible, but not obligatory
|Theory is directly applied in practice
|Theory is used for cultivating scientific thinking
|Studying with the aim of acquiring specific competences
|Studying with the aim of acquiring knowledge
|A wide range of study subjects
|A limited range of study subjects (with more detail)
|Average study pace
|High study pace
|A lot of studying in student groups on projects
|Mainly studying on you own
|Personal study guidance by professors
|Little study guidance by professors
|Follow up control on homework
|Little or no control on homework
|You are educated for a management position in a specific profession
|You are educated for a less specific function at a higher level
|Clear professional image
| General professional image
The Greek higher educational system has a similar distinction: between Universities and Technical Educational institutes (T.E.I.).
On the surface one could therefore conclude, that the Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences resemble the Greek TEI’s. To a certain extend this is true, but there are many differences, especially in terms of facilities, services, the high level of international English language study programs and the “value” of the diploma in the international labor market.
Because of the Greek entry system into higher education through the national admission exams (panellinies), it is much easier to get admitted to most TEI’s, than it is getting into university. In fact for many Greek students, studying at a TEI is only an option if they cannot get into a university, because of a low score at the panellinies. As a result, the Greek universities enjoy a much higher prestige than most TEI’s.
The basic decision for a student to study in Holland at a Research University, or at a University of Applied Sciences, has nothing to do with national entry exam scores, or prestige, but depends on what the student wants to do after he/she has obtained his/her Bachlor degree.