The Netherlands, or Holland: one of the most popular countries in Europe for international students. No wonder, with some of the world’s finest universities, a modern approach to education and a welcoming environment.
Netherlands – or Holland?
Many people think that “Holland” and “Netherlands” mean the same thing. Even within the country, you may hear locals saying “Holland” when referring to the whole country. Technically, however, that is not correct. The country as a whole is called the Netherlands. It consists of twelve provinces; two of these provinces make up the Holland region, split into North and South Holland (Noord- and Zuid-Holland, respectively).
The widespread colloquial use of “Holland” as a term for the country as a whole originated in the 17th century, when Holland was the most influential of the Dutch provinces. The Holland region still represents a sizeable share of the population; the three largest cities in the Netherlands are located here – Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague (Den Haag). Therefore, “Holland” remains synonymous with “the Netherlands” for many people. And last, but not least: The official organisation that promotes the country as a study destination is also called “Study in Holland”.
Universities in the Netherlands
In Europe, the Netherlands was very early to adopt the Bachelor/Master system and offer degree programmes in English. This has lead to one of the largest selections of courses on the continent. You can choose between plenty of Bachelor and Master degrees at around 70 institutions of higher education.
You can also expect a large community of international students: More than 112,000 students from around the world. Around 16% of all students come from abroad – one of the highest ratios anywhere in Europe.
As in other European countries, universities in Holland are commonly classified as either “research universities”, offering more research-oriented academic programmes, or “universities of applied sciences”, offering more practice-oriented study programmes.