Dutch higher education system

The Dutch higher education system is characterised by a binary system. Alongside the academic education offered by the universities, there is the higher professional education offered by the 'hogescholen', institutes for higher education. By law, art education belongs to the higher professional education system, which explains the name of our institution: Hogeschool der Kunsten.

The Netherlands has two types of higher education:

  • Research University Education (in Dutch: Wetenschappelijk onderwijs, WO) and 
  • Higher Professional Education (in Dutch: Hoger Beroeps Onderwijs, HBO). 

Higher Professional Education is offered by Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences. The universities conduct research and offer training in the social sciences, humanities and sciences. The education of Universities of Applied Sciences have a strongly practical orientation, and study programmes are geared more towards practical knowledge and specific careers. Internships, through which students gain on-the-job experience in the work they are trained for, are essential components of nearly all curricula.

Dutch institutions for higher education earn income through tuition fees, but an even larger share of their income comes directly from the government. Nevertheless, the law guarantees them considerable autonomy to determine their own policies, to design their own curricula and develop new courses and to make investments for the future. 

Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences are thus able to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of both students and society. At the moment there are 41 Universities of Applied Sciences and 14 Universities in the Netherlands.

The Royal Academy of Art is a faculty of the University of the Arts The Hague.

Find more information about studying in the Netherlands