The prospect of cycling to class along sparkling canals and bright spring days studying outdoors among the tulips may seem like a picturesque existence. However, the task of choosing the best business school in the Netherlands for your unique requirements can be a confusing and daunting business.
Do not fear! Here at EDUopinions, we have put together the key details you need to know to guide your research. We’ve also collected lots of verified reviews from students in the Netherlands, and below you can find the most insightful and helpful opinions – direct from current and past students. Want to study Business in The Netherlands? Find which Business Schools are the right ones for you.
The 5 Best Business Schools in The Netherlands
- Rotterdam School of Management – RSM
- Hanze University of Applied Sciences – UAS
- Maastricht School of Management – MSM
- University of Groningen – RUG
- Amsterdam Business School – ABS
Rotterdam School of Management – RSM
Located in the city of Rotterdam, Rotterdam School of Management originally began as the Dutch School of Higher Commercial Education of Erasmus University, founded in 1913. Several years later, in 1970, it evolved into the Graduate School of Management and was “transferred” to the neighbourhood of Kralingen, only to be moved to the city of Delft (located between Rotterdam and The Hague) and renamed “Interuniversities Institute for Business Administration” two years later. The school eventually relocated to the Erasmus University in 1986.
Nowadays, RSM offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate business-related degrees, mostly taught in English, including Business Administration, Accounting and Financial Management, Strategic Entrepreneurship and Finance & Investments. Currently, around 8,000 students are enrolled at RMS, who seem to be generally satisfied with their experience in this institution:
The courses offered are very interesting, the university is well organized and classes have a really good mix between theoretical and quantitative subjects. Courses I especially liked were Quantitative Decision Making, and Management Accounting.
Hanze University of Applied Sciences – UAS
Studying at Hanze University of Applied Sciences equals studying at a top-rated university, featuring career-orientated education, meaning that you do project work for real clients and develop your CV while still being a student. Hanze UAS offers a wide range of English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programmes in the fields of business, communication, engineering, arts and health/sports.
Located in the vibrant city of Groningen, renowned as the best student city in the Netherlands, students combine the best of both worlds: developing themselves academically and professionally while enjoying an abundance of activities and facilities in place for international students.
The master’s program is highly intense and challenging, so for people seeking to hop on new adventures, it’s an amazing opportunity. You get to work in a culturally diverse environment while learning various communication spectrums from corporate to crisis management.
Maastricht School of Management – MSM
The city of Maastricht is also home to another one of the best Dutch business schools, Maastricht School of Management, which is an independent private institution. Founded in 1952 and currently attended by approximately 2,000 students, MSM has established throughout time many different partnership programmes with other business schools in countries as diverse as Azerbaijan, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Peru, India, Mongolia, Suriname, Kuwait, Romania, China, Egypt, Germany, Vietnam, Yemen, the USA, and the UK.
MSM also offers a wide range of degrees (including Master of Science and Master in Management programmes), as well as the possibility of studying online. Nowadays, some of the most prominent degrees that are issued by this School are the Master of Business Administration, the Executive MBA, and the Doctor of Business Administration.
University of Groningen – RUG
The University of Groningen (or RUG for short, known in Dutch as Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) is the second oldest university in the Netherlands, having been founded in 1614, only 39 years after Leiden University. RUG is currently attended by more than 30,000 students and divided into eleven different faculties, including the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), considered one of the most prestigious centres of formation in business in the country.
One of the particularities of the FEB is that it not only offers Bachelors, Masters and PhD programmes specializing in various economic-related areas such as Business Administration, Econometrics and Operations Research, Business Economics, International Business, Accountancy, Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing… but it also offers students the possibility of studying double degrees with exchanges to other partner institutions abroad involved in countries as diverse as France, China, Indonesia, Germany, Norway, Chile, Romania, Sweden, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark, the UK and the USA.
Furthermore, the University of Groningen is well-known for its international outlook and the emphasis it places on research, as this anonymous student has corroborated in this review:
I started my studies at the University of Groningen as a Master student in the Marketing Management track last September. The University of Groningen was one out of the three universities I really wanted to join in the Netherlands. In general, the institution is very well-known about its research orientation with a global outlook.
It combines the really high quality of education with affordable lifestyle and education expenses. The latter was one of the most important reasons I did select RUG.
More specific, it is much appreciated the fact that I had full support in all the different stages I had to go through since my selection until the final confirmation and registration to the institution. All the people behind the student services were and they still are very willing to help you with any problem you may face.
All around the faculty, there are many opportunities to expand your knowledge and to dive yourself into the future career path.
However, regarding my track, there are a few things to be developed. The research orientation of the university overweights the managerial aspect of Marketing. Although the power of research is really significant it should not be implemented in the degree it currently is. The courses should be modified that way in order to serve the needs of a future brand manager and not those of a data scientist.
Particularly, the student points out the support that was given to him/her during all the application and registration procedures and the willingness of the student services to help with any problems. And even though he/she thinks that the courses were still a little more practical than theoretical, this person has assessed the experience lived at the FEB as a Master in Marketing Management student as a generally very positive one.
Amsterdam Business School – ABS
Amsterdam Business School – ABS is part of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Amsterdam (abbreviated as UvA), along with the Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE). Currently, ABS offers Bachelor’s, Master’s degrees and PhDs that specialise in areas such as Business Administration, Economics, Business Economics, Fiscal Economics, Econometrics and Operational Research.
Furthermore, the ABS and the ASE are the only business schools in the Netherlands that offer a programme in Actuarial Sciences, a discipline that consists of the application of various mathematical and statistical methods to evaluate risk in different professions and industries, including the insurance and financial fields. International orientation is also something the ABS places emphasis on; thus, most of the programmes that are taught there are available in the English language.
In general, students seem to be satisfied with their experience studying Business and Economics at the University of Amsterdam, as can be seen in these reviews:
I spent my last 3 years at UvA to study Business.
Overall, I loved it. I don’t regret it at all.
– I loved most of the professors I met, and I liked their education system.
– Exams were fair and assignments were very helpful to develop my skills in the field (they were pretty tough tho)
– I am an Asian student but I never experienced any type of racism while studying at UvA and I felt welcomed all the time.
– Very international atmosphere and open-minded staff/students.
– Great facilities. I enjoyed studying at the different libraries, and very clean cafeteria and classrooms
– Perfect location, and beautiful sight.
I am a full-time Information Studies: Business Information Systems Master’s student at UvA and so far my experience living, studying and socializing here in Amsterdam has been great. UvA gives you the opportunity to think critically and apply theories with real life cases and this prepares you for life after graduating. Amsterdam is very international so if you are planning to apply and study here, surely you won’t regret it.
This other anonymous student also praises both the facilities available and the organisation:
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Editor’s note: This article was first published on the 10th of February 2020. We’ve updated it for current readers.
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