All degree programmes at The Hague University of Applied Sciences that grant an accredited diploma are visited and evaluated for their quality by a panel of external experts, nominated by the NVAO. A NVAO-accreditation is "the accreditation that reflects that the quality of the degree programme has received a positive evaluation from the accreditation body."


In the Netherlands the NVAO accreditation is a prerequisite for funding/financing a bachelor or master’s degree programme by the government, to give institutions the right to issue accredited diploma's and to grant students student finance. The NVAO has determined the criteria for accreditation of existing degree programmes and new degree programmes in frameworks.

Panel and reports

All degree programmes at The Hague University of Applied Sciences that grant an accredited diploma are visited and evaluated for their quality by a panel of external experts, nominated by the NVAO. Based on their findings, the panel issues a visitation report that forms the basis for the NVAO accreditation decision. The accreditation of an existing degree programme is valid for six years. Curious to see the report on your degree programme? Please find the reports here.

Development meeting

In addition to performing the accreditation and issuing the visitation report, the panels also sits down with the degree programme for a development meeting in which all possible improvements are considered from a development perspective. The results of this meeting are recorded in a separate document that’s not part of the visitation report. It has been legally determined that an institution must publish a report on the development meeting within a year after the accreditation report.

The Dutch higher education system

The higher education system in the Netherlands is based on a three-cycle degree system, consisting of a Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degree. The Netherlands has a binary higher education system. Binary in this context means there are two types of higher education: research-oriented and applied-oriented.

  • Applied oriented education is offered by universities of applied sciences such as THUAS
  • Research-oriented education is traditionally offered by research universities.

University of Applied Sciences

A University of Applied Sciences (UAS) is a higher education institution with a focus on preparing students for their future careers. Students at these institutions learn how to apply their theoretical knowledge in the real-world, hence the name “ Applied Sciences”. Work placements and internships in (inter)national companies form an integral and compulsory part of the degree programmes offered at these universities.

Both types of education prepare for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. PhD degrees can only be obtained at research universities.

At THUAS we encourage our students, lecturers and partners to develop into open-minded global citizens – to stand firm in their own convictions and face the world. We realise that our own professional commitment makes a difference and we must work together to develop and apply creative solutions.

THUAS is a hands-on environment where we can develop and innovate as global citizens – to come together to share in development, networking and practice. This is how we plan to shape and change the world we live in, while we develop our own knowledge and skills.


What is the difference between a research university (WO) and a university of applied sciences (HBO)?

University of applied sciences

Higher applied education (hoger beroepsonderwijs, HBO) is offered by universities of applied sciences (hogescholen)

  • Programmes at universities of applied sciences prepare students for their future careers;
  • Besides theory they also focus on practically oriented education;
  • Both lead to either a bachelor’s or master’s degree;
  • The research at applied sciences institutes tends to be more applied;
  • Close collaboration with the professional field, curricula are designed to accommodate market demand;
  • Solution-oriented, academic and scientific knowledge is used to solve practical problems;
  • More contact hours (e.g. lectures / tutorials) during which course material is taught in a classical setting;
  • A Bachelor's degree in the applied arts and sciences typically requires 240 credits (four years of study); in most cases, graduates obtain a degree indicating the field of study (for example, Bachelor of Engineering, B Eng, or Bachelor of Nursing, B Nursing).
  • At THUAS though we also offer many three year bachelor programmes but which have higher entrance requirements. es. Click here for more information about the admission requirements.

Most graduates find a job within the first three months of graduating. Others continue with a masters programme either in the Netherlands, their home country or somewhere else. THUAS alumni are welcome at masters programmes across the world. If they wish to continue their studies with a masters degree in a specific country or university we do suggest that you enquire with them about the transferability of your THUAS bachelors degree and if there are any special requirements or restrictions in place they should be aware of.

If, after completing a bachelor’s degree at a university of applied sciences, you wish to pursue a master’s degree at a research university in The Netherlands, you may be required to complete a bridging or pre masters course first.

Research university

Research-oriented education (wetenschappelijk onderwijs, WO) is traditionally offered by research universities (universiteiten).

  • Programmes at research universities focus on theoretical aspects of the field of study;
  • Prepares students for undertaking independent research;
  • Lead to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. At research universities you can also pursue a PhD degree;
  • Fewer contact hours and more course material to study independently;
  • A Bachelor's program at a research university requires the completion of 180 credits (three years of study) and graduates obtain the degree of Bachelor of Arts, of Science, or of Laws (BA/BSc/LLB), depending on the discipline;
  • Prepares students for undertaking independent research.