List of universities in the Netherlands

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A listing of universities in the Netherlands:

Research universities[edit]

Research universities in the Netherlands are institutions of tertiary education that in Dutch are called universiteit. Their focus is towards academic education and scientific research. They are accredited to confer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Prior to the Bologna Process, the universities granted drs. (doctorandus), mr. (for law studies) and ir. (for engineering studies) degrees, which are equivalent to current MBA, MA, LLM or MSc degrees. The term universiteit is reserved to doctorate granting institutes in the Dutch context, and the additional qualifier "research" is hardly ever used in practice.

Name est. City Organisation Type Number of staff Number of students
Government Supported Universities (by type)
University of Amsterdam[1] 1632 Amsterdam Public University 4,062 32,739
Academic Medical Center Amsterdam
Amsterdam University College Amsterdam
VU University Amsterdam 1880 Amsterdam Special: Christian University 2,200 18,000
VU University Medical Center Amsterdam
Amsterdam University College Amsterdam
University of Groningen 1614 Groningen Public University 5,000 26,500
University Medical Center Groningen 1797 Groningen
Leiden University 1575 Leiden Public University 3,973 19,328
Leiden University Medical Center Leiden
Maastricht University 1976 Maastricht Public University 3,000 11,463
Academic Hospital Maastricht 1974 Maastricht
University College Maastricht 2002 Maastricht
Radboud University Nijmegen 1923 Nijmegen Special: Catholic University 4,309* 17,650*
University Medical Center St Radboud Nijmegen
Erasmus University Rotterdam 1913 Rotterdam Public University 3,700 20,666
Erasmus MC Rotterdam
Tilburg University 1927 Tilburg Special: Catholic University 1,062* 11,399*
University College Tilburg 2008 Tilburg
TIAS School for Business and Society 1982 Tilburg
Utrecht University 1636 Utrecht Public University 8,224 26,787
University Medical Center Utrecht 1999 Utrecht
University College Utrecht 1998 Utrecht
University College Roosevelt 2004 Middelburg
Delft University of Technology 1842 Delft Public University of Technology 2,633‡ 13,383‡
Eindhoven University of Technology 1956 Eindhoven Public University of Technology 2,200 7100
University of Twente 1961 Enschede Public University of Technology and Social Sciences 3,000 8,500
Wageningen University and Research Centre 2000 Wageningen 6,500##
Wageningen University 1918 Wageningen Public University for life sciences 8,500
Agricultural Research Institutes throughout the Netherlands Research Institute
Open University 1984 Nationwide; main office in Heerlen Public University for distance learning 673 16,888[2]
University of Curaçao 1979 Curaçao Public University of the Nation of NA
Privately Funded Universities (accredited as Universiteit by Dutch law) (by type)
Nyenrode Business Universiteit 1946 Breukelen Private University for Business Studies
Kampen Theological University 1854 Kampen Private University for Protestant Theology
Kampen Theological University of the Reformed Churches (Liberated) 1944 Kampen Private University for Protestant Theology
Apeldoorn Theological University of the Christian Reformed Churches 1894 Apeldoorn Private University for Protestant Theology
University of Humanistic Studies 1989 Utrecht Private University of Humanistic Studies
Universities that no longer exist
Catholic University of Utrecht 1991–2007 Utrecht Private: merged into University of Tilburg University for Catholic Theology
University of Harderwijk 1648–1811 Harderwijk disbanded by Napoleon
University of Franeker 1585–1811 Franeker disbanded by Napoleon
University of Nijmegen 1655–±1680 Nijmegen closed in the aftermath of the 1672 rampjaar
University of Theology and Pastorate 1966-1999[3] Heerlen Private: merged into University of Nijmegen in 1993, Heerlen location closed 1999 University for Catholic Theology

† 2003-2004; ‡ 2004-2005; # 2005-2006; * 2006-2007; ##including research staff at the associated institutes. All figures without signs are estimates or from undated sources; †† Degrees of these non-accredited "universities" have no legal status anywhere. According to Dutch law, it is illegal to use protected titles which can only be given by universities that are accredited. Protected titles are ing. bc. mr. ir. drs. and dr.[4] English variants (MSc BSc MA BA LLB LLM BEng PhD) are not (yet)[5] protected by Dutch law[6] (but using the title "dr." based on a PhD degree, without permission from DUO, is a violation of Dutch law as the title "doctor" is protected). One may bear in the Netherlands foreign titles according to the laws of the country wherein they were granted, but without translating them in Dutch.

Universities of applied sciences[edit]

Universities of applied sciences (Dutch: hogeschool) in the Netherlands are focused on professional education rather than scientific research. While the literal translation of hogeschool is "high school", these are institutes of higher education, and can be compared with colleges, polytechnics, and universities of applied arts in other countries. They are accredited to confer bachelor's and master's degrees. Prior to the Bologna Process, they also conferred professional engineer's (abbreviated ing.) degrees. Dutch universities of applied sciences are not accredited to confer doctoral (PhD) degrees; PhD studies can sometimes be conducted in the context of a university of applied sciences, however, the title will be granted by one of the research universities, and a full professor of that university will be appointed as principal supervisor (promotor). In international contexts, the phrase University of Applied Sciences is used for the majority of these schools, as suggested by the Dutch Minister of Education.[7] Some specific exceptions have been made. For example, tertiary art schools and schools of education use an internationally recognisable name of choice. The Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences include the following:

Webster University: The American University in the Netherlands[edit]

Webster University Leiden is a university outside the Dutch system, offering Bachelor and Master programs in the Netherlands. Webster University is a private, non-profit American university, accredited in the United States by the Higher Learning Commission's North Central Association. The International Business and Management program, as well as the Applied Behavioral and Social Sciences program are accredited in the Netherlands by the NVAO at the hbo (professional master) level.

International rankings[edit]


Ranking list according to the THE–QS World University Rankings (indicated in purple are high and low scores)(

Institution 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 (QS) 2011 (THE) 2012 (QS) 2012 (THE) 2013 (QS) 2013 (THE)
University of Amsterdam 98 58 69 48 53 49 56 63 92 62 83 58 83
Leiden University 131 138 90 84 64 60 82 88 79 75 64 74 67
Utrecht University 120 120 95 89 67 70 83 80 68 85 67 81 74
Delft University of Technology 78 53 86 63 78 83 108 104 104 103 77 95 69
Erasmus University Rotterdam 64 57 92 163 126 108 99 103 157 99 72 92 73
Maastricht University 123 157 172 111 111 116 111 109 197 107 115 121 98
Eindhoven University of Technology 83 70 67 130 128 120 126 146 115 158 114 157 106
University of Groningen NR NR NR 193 144 138 120 115 134 109 89 97 98
Wageningen University NR 108 97 148 142 155 178 175 75 161 70 150 77
Vrije Universiteit NR 186 183 NR 155 165 171 179 159 177 140 181 144
University of Twente NR NR 115 185 200 200 199 226 200 224 187 228 170
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen 191 177 137 195 NR NR 149 138 159 136 127 143 131


In relation to their population size, Switzerland (first), Sweden (second) and the Netherlands (third) are the three countries with the highest number of universities among the 100 best of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (2014-2015).[8]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]