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Research University vs.University of Applied Sciences

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still have doubts about whether to STUDY AT A research university (WO) or university of applied sciences (HBO)? Here's a brief description of the differences.

A four-year programme at a university of applied sciences leads to a Bachelor or Professional Studies degree and is an applied, vocational programme. In principle, you do not conduct any fundamental research. This is the case with research university programmes. The University of Twente is a research university.

Research universities (in Dutch: WO)

Universities of applied sciences (in Dutch: HBO

  • Research-oriented education: critical thinking
  • More theoretical and at an academic level
  • Professional or academic career
  • In-depth study: scientific sources
  • Independent studies
  • Bachelor at research university: 
    3 years
  • Practice-based education: learning by doing
  • Preparation for specific professions
  • More contact hours (e.g. Lectures / tutorials)
  • Classical setting
  • Group projects
  • Bachelor at research university: 
    4 years

Not everyone at the university becomes a researcher. A university programme may also train you to become a designer, organizer or entrepreneur. But academic knowledge and research skills are always part of your basic education. You will often also be trained by researchers. Academic bachelor's programmes at a research university last three years. Most people with a Bachelor of Science degree opt to continue their studies for one or two more years in order to become more proficient. They then become a Master of Science. The bachelor/master structure is common throughout Europe.

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