Since 2014 the programmes at VHL University of Applied Sciences that have been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) have the same degrees as university studies. It is now allowed to add ‘of Science’ or ‘of Business Administration’ to the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

With this decision the government aims to increase the international recognisability of the degrees. The decision is a result of the aanbevelingen van de commissie Veerman (2010) (the Veerman committee’s recommendations) and the political lobby of higher vocational institutes to be allowed to use similar degrees as universities.


The minister of Education has linked the moment of applying a new addition to the present degree and the type of degree that is to be used to the point when accreditation takes place by NVAO, which means that The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders will carry out this new arrangement. Since February 2014 the NVAO publishes a list every month with vocational programmes that are allowed to use the additions to degrees.

Positive development

The programmes that have been granted the addition will either use ‘of science’ (BSc) or ‘of business administration’ (BBA) on the diplomas. This is a positive development when it comes to job opportunities abroad.

Exchanging of diplomas

In 2014 diplomas were issued that could also have had the degrees MSc, BSc or BBA on them. These graduates will receive a personal message explaining that they can use the new degrees and can exchange their diplomas for the newer version. This process will start this spring.

Read also: Bachelor degree.

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