The Netherlands has approximately 55 institutions of higher learning; 13 of these institutions are universities where research is combined with teaching. Degrees offered are bachelor's (after three years of study), master's (after one or two years) and Ph.D. Students working towards their Ph.D. are usually employed by their universities and combine teaching with dissertation research. Three universities, Delft, Twente and Eindhoven, qualify as 'technical' universities with their main focus on STEM fields (hard sciences and engineering). In addition, one university, Wageningen, specializes in the agricultural sciences. Furthermore, the universities of Nijmegen, Tilburg and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are denominational. The other six universities are broad 'classical' type of universities.
The level of research and study at Dutch universities is quite high and Dutch scientists publish widely and frequently. Most of the larger universities have created smaller undergraduate 'university colleges' with U.S. liberal arts colleges as their model, next to their regular undergraduate education. They attract a great number of students who are admitted selectively, while most Dutch students have the automatic right to be admitted to a university if they have the appropriate high school diploma.
The largest number of students in higher education in the Netherlands can be found in the so-called "hogescholen" or universities of applied sciences. There are 36 hogescholen spread out over the country. It is important to note that art academies and conservatories fall within this category of professional education.
The Dutch academic year starts at the end of August or beginning of September and runs until the end of May or beginning of June. This may vary per institution. Tuition fees are low for Dutch citizens and citizens of EU countries, but are increasingly steep for non-EU students. As most universities do not have a campus or offer campus housing, most students live in the cities or commute. Teaching in English is common at Dutch universities; conservatories and art schools, in particular, have a high percentage of international students.
All applications from U.S. scholars must contain a teaching component. The Dutch Fulbright Commission believes that teaching guarantees the best multiplier effect.
Please note that dual U.S.-Dutch citizens are not eligible for the Fulbright program with the Netherlands.