Stenden University of Applied Sciences and NHL University of Applied Sciences are joining forces. Are you interested in one of our courses? You are now able to find all of our courses on the new website

Stenden University of Applied Sciences is merging with NHL University of Applied Sciences. Visit

University of Applied Sciences

About Stenden

visual page

Although our university has been operating under its current name only since 2008, it has a long tradition and strong roots in the northern part of the Netherlands. Stenden University of Applied Sciences was created from the merger of CHN University Netherlands and Drenthe University, two premier institutions of higher education in the Northern Dutch provinces. As a university of applied sciences (the Dutch equivalent of the German and Austrian Fachhochschule), Stenden is committed to supporting you, as a student, in your future pathways and to providing you with the tools you need to immerse yourself in your future professional field from the very outset.


Over the years, Stenden has grown into an international institution attracting students from all over the world. The university currently has a student body of around 11,000 (25% of whom are from outside the Netherlands). It employs a staff of roughly 1,000 people (many of whom are also students) representing over 90 nationalities.

Stenden provides a broad spectrum of excellent educational and research services and all its branches maintain close ties with their local and regional communities and contribute significantly to the local economies. Nurtured and inspired by our international, entrepreneurial, and value-driven environment, our students and staff work on developing their personal leadership skills and creativity. We promote cultural and ethnic diversity, which we feel plays an important role at all levels of the education system.

We have defined our mission as “Unleashing the potential of each student” and our vision as “Serving to make a better world”.

Our university symbol, the swallow, represents the cosmopolitan, the traveller and growth. Many of our graduates find careers in international and intercultural environments. This requires students with cosmopolitan attitudes who approach the world and the people they meet with an open mind. Given the broad-minded and inclusive nature of the education our students receive and the many opportunities they are offered to acquire international experience, Stenden encourages intercultural and international attitudes in its staff and students.

Branches in the Netherlands and abroad

Stenden’s main branches are located in the north and east of the Netherlands: in the towns of Leeuwarden, Emmen, Groningen, Meppel and Assen. In addition, the university operates branches in South Africa, Qatar, Thailand and Indonesia.

Variety of accredited courses

Stenden University of Applied Sciences is a public institution of higher education offering more than 20 English and Dutch Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Economics and Management, Media and IT and Social Sciences and Education.

Best of both worlds

Stenden has adopted the ‘New University’ concept, which integrates the strongest educational and research assets of traditional universities with the more hands-on approach of universities of applied sciences. We like to think of it as the best of both worlds. This has given our institution the resources we need to compete in the international education world and meet the highest standards.

Stenden has adopted Problem Based Learning – ‘PBL’, as well call it. One of the most innovative teaching methods around, it is designed to encourage self-directed learning, creative problem-solving skills and the ability to perform in a culturally diverse environment.

Practical learning

Stenden’s main focus is on preparing its students for ‘real-world’ work environments and the challenges they present. All our courses emphasise practical learning and practical experience. Students get a taste of their future field of work during their studies, for example by working for one of our training companies. Stenden also has eleven research groups that include professionals from the field.

International focus

Students at Stenden are encouraged to gain international experiences during their studies. Stenden's Grand Tour programme is the ultimate ‘study-abroad’ experience, where students can choose to take part of their regular course at one of the other international branches. Alternatively, they also have the option to take part in an exchange programme with one of our 90 partner universities worldwide. Students also get to choose an internship, optional minors, or regular semesters in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and/or Africa.

As Stenden is an international higher education institution, much of its communication and logos are in English. The institution is authorised to employ the title of ‘University of Applied Sciences’, which was introduced for Dutch (and German) higher education institutions.

Stenden University of Applied Sciences and NHL University of Applied Sciences are merging. Would you like to start your studies in February? Then continue your application process on

Would you like to start your studies in September 2018? Then continue your application process on the new website You can apply now for academic year 18/19!