There are two types of universities in the Netherlands: applied sciences (hogescholen) and research (universiteiten). The first is more practical, the second more theory-based.
Applied science universities - like AUAS - prepare students for specific careers, focusing on practical work experience through internships. They apply the arts and sciences to specific professions. Students participate in many field-research projects within companies and organisations in the university's local area.
Research universities have a stronger theoretical focus and are more concerned with the critical analysis of a particular area of study. Research is more independent, and may not contain a practical element. The institution itself will not only teach but expect to carry out research.
The following table sets out the differences between these institutions the two Dutch university types:
|University of applied sciences||Research university|
Applied, concrete, practical
|Abstract, analytical, theoretical|
|Education trains students for specific professions. Knowledge is applied to work in a solution-oriented way.||Emphasis is placed on learning to analyse a certain field critically and analytically.|
|Prime function is teaching. Research projects focus on addressing real issues faced by institutions and companies.||Universities research as well as teach. Students learn how to carry out academic research in their studies.|
|Contact between students and lecturers is more intensive. There are more compulsory contact hours, including work groups and lectures.||Less contact between students and lecturers. Large lecture groups are common, and these are combined with tutorials.|
|Placements occur throughout the degree programme.||Students conclude their studies with either a research project or a placement.|
|Related to particular profession. Students usually find jobs in their area of study.||Less profession-specific. Students generally find positions in the field of management, policy research or administration.|
Studying at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences will give you academic knowledge, but this will be closely related to a chosen professional area. Practical training during your studies will give you on-the-job learning that is prized by businesses and organisations. You therefore become more valuable on the international job market.