Our colleges

So you’re thinking about studying in the Netherlands? Discover the TopDutch region. We host leading research universities and universities of applied sciences, and you’ll be sure to find a course that prepares you to change the world.


Zernike campus ©UG, photo: Silvio Zangerini

TopDutch higher education system

There are two types of international higher education in the TopDutch region:

  • Research universities are more traditional, research-oriented education. 
  • Universities of applied sciences focus on practical applications of knowledge, and are often focussed on preparing for a certain profession after graduation.

Research universities

University of Groningen
Ranked in the top 100 universities in the world, the University of Groningen (RUG) educates around 30,000 students from over 120 countries per year. The majority of study programs are taught in the city of Groningen, with a second campus in the city of Leeuwarden. 

The University of Groningen offers over 200 English-taught bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programs from 11 faculties.

Academy Building, University of Groningen ©UG, photo: Merel Weijer

Universities of applied sciences

Hanze University of Applied Science
The Hanze UAS is the largest university of applied science in the TopDutch region, with campuses in the cities of Groningen (main campus), Leeuwarden, and Assen.

They offer 32 English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs within 19 schools.

Van Hall Larenstein: University of Applied Sciences
VHL is a sustainably-focussed university of applied science specializing in educating for careers in Delta Areas and Resources, Food and Dairy, and Animal and Business. Located in the cities of Leeuwarden and Velp, they offer 9 English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs.

While the majority of their English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs are offered in Velp (Gelderland), VHL offers 1 English-taught master’s program, “Innovations in Dairy and Food Chains” in Leeuwarden.

NHL Stenden 
Alongside the 4 campuses in the TopDutch region, NHL Stenden has a further 3 campuses globally, in Bali, Thailand and South Africa. They educate students from over 80 nationalities, with 29 English-taught associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 5 fields.

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