There are two types of higher education in the Netherlands. The research universities prepare students for independent scientific and scholarly work in an academic or professional setting. The hogescholen are universities of applied sciences that offer programmes that focus on the practical application of arts and sciences. Acquiring practical work and research experience through internships is an integral part of the professional study programmes offered at these institutions. At present there are 14 universities in the Netherlands and 45 universities of applied sciences.The School of Communication & Media is part of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands.
The differences between the universities of applied sciences and the research universities have become less marked in the course of time. Nevertheless, a number of differences remain. Universities of applied sciences offer four-year programmes, leading to a Bachelor's degree, which are strongly geared towards practical training. The programmes focus on specific occupations and include traineeships or work placements that provide students with practical work experience. Universities of applied sciences also offer an increasing number of programmes that lead to a Master's degree.