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Netherlands, Higher Education in

This entry discusses characteristics, funding, participation rates, and internationalization in the Dutch higher education system.

System Characteristics

The Dutch higher education system consists of 14 public research universities that grant academic degrees and enrolled 276,713 bachelor and master and 8,829 PhD students in 2017; 37 universities of applied sciences that grant professional degrees at associate, bachelor, and master levels and enrolled 453,354 students in 2017; and some small, specialized private institutions.

Overall system performance is strong. It scores sixth on the 2018 U21 ranking of national systems of higher education, and second worldwide for research impact. Virtually all Dutch research universities rank between 50 and 200 in global rankings. This so-called plain without peaks has been discussed intensively, with a view to the need for further differentiation and ...

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