The Netherlands has a binary system of higher education with research universities and universities of applied science. Nearly all of them are publicly funded institutions with diversified funding from privately funded research and consultancy.
Private universities play only a marginal role in higher education.
The research universities offer research-oriented programmes on BA, MA and PhD-level and conduct academic and scientific research.
Universities of applied science offer programmes for professional education at BA- and MA-level. They also conduct practice-based research.
The 4 universities in the region enrol about 69 000 students.
Higher education institutions (HEIs) and regional engagement
Erasmus University and Delft Technical University are research universities and orient themselvesf towards (inter)national level. They draw students from beyond the region and conduct research in international networks. They are, however, also focused on the application of their knowledge for the economic development of the city-region. They have ties with (bigger) corporations and institutions and foster “spin-off”-enterprises.
The universities of applied science - Rotterdam University and INHolland University - have a primary focus on the region. The vast majority of their students come from the region. They work in close collaboration with small, medium-sized and bigger corporations and institutions, which are concerned with education, practice-based research, innovation and development.