Nowadays it's quite a challenge for many scholars to choose 'the right' study, let alone choose a university. 

 And even ìf you do know what to study, like for instance 'international business' or 'technology', then whàt distinguishes one university from the other?



English or Dutch language?

Not all Dutch programmes are automatically given in English. You can choose between:

  • English programmes; one of the admission requirements is an English proficiency test score. 
  • Dutch programmes

It makes sense that there are more Dutch programmes than English programmes in the Netherlands. But still, the percentages of English programmes are quite high. Last year the following ration applied:

  • An average of 56% of all Bachelor programmes are offered in English 
  • An average of 77% of all Master programmes are offered in English
English programmes (BSc, MSc)
per institution

Please note: Not all universities have the same orientation!

In the Netherlands, institutions that are called ‘university’ may have different orientations:

  • WO: which are called ‘Academic Universities’
  • HBO: which are called ‘Universities of Applied Sciences’

HBO bachelor's degrees do NOT give automatic access to a related Master's programme at a Dutch academic university! Usually you first need to do a pre-master (6-12 months) after having gained a HBO bachelor's degree.

Ovedco focuses on academic universities only, who are accredited by the Dutch government (NVAO). It are only the academic universities (not the HBO) that appear on the world ranking lists. 

However, a lot of practical information you find at our website also applies for HBO. Ovedco is working on it to provide information about HBO programmes as well in due time.  

The table below shows you the main differences between WO and HBO

Main differences between WO and HBO universities

Option Orientation Focus Task of the institution Bachelor programme duration Titles for Bachelor Automatic access to academic Master programme?
WO Academic,
"Why...? = Developing Education + Research 4 years BA, BSc, LLB Yes, if accredited by NVAO
HBO Professional,
"How...? = Applying Education 3 years bc, ing No, you first need to do a pre-master (6-12 months)

The differences between WO and HBO are also clearly explained into more detail on the TU Delft website:

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