Language of instruction universities
From the 2016-2017 academic year, the VSNU has been taking an inventory of the languages in which degree programmes are being taught at universities in the Netherlands. This page brings together all information collected on the languages of instruction.
Language of instruction within a programme:
Dutch is the language of instruction in the majority of Bachelor's programmes
In the Bachelor's phase, the majority of degree programmes are taught in Dutch. For Master's programmes, however, the situation is different in that most of these are taught in English. The relationship between the annual enrolment figures is more or less the same: the majority of Bachelor's students are enrolled in a programme where Dutch is the language of instruction, while the majority of Master's students attend a programme taught in English. It is noteworthy that the programmes with both a variant taught in Dutch and a variant taught in English tend to be relatively large: a significant portion of all students attend such programmes.
English-language Bachelor's programmes found primarily in University Colleges and the technical sector
Most of the Bachelor's programmes taught in English fall under the Technical sector and Cross-Sector field (i.e. the University Colleges). The range of degree programmes with both a Dutch-taught and English-taught variant on offer is greatest within the Economics sector. In Master's programmes, English is the most common language of instruction in virtually all sectors. The Health and Law sectors have the highest occurrence of Master's programmes taught in Dutch.
The graph below compares the proportion of programmes taught in English (NL+ENG and ENG) to the share of international students enrolled in each sector. It is evident that, considering the percentage of programmes taught in English, the Behaviour and Society sector boasts relatively high international enrolment while international enrolment in the Engineering sector is relatively low.
Both Dutch-taught programmes and English-taught programmes receive positive scores for student satisfaction
Students indicate equal satisfaction regarding university degree programmes taught in Dutch and those taught in English. The teaching skills of lecturers in both types of programme also received equal – high – ratings. In degree programmes taught entirely in English, students rate the English-language proficiency of lecturers higher than that of lecturers in degree programmes taught in Dutch. Here, too, the score of 4.2 (on a scale form 1 to 5) makes it clear that students are satisfied with the level.