What are the different types of universities and what degree can you obtain there?


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Universities are the oldest institutions for higher education. They originate from the XII century. The first ones were established in Europe - University of Bologna (1088), University of Paris, University of Oxford, University of Modena. The name comes from Latin – "universita" and means community, cooperation (universitas magistrorum et scholarium – community of scholars and teachers). Many historians believe that these communities probably grew out from the catholic schools, where the classes were taught by nuns and monks.

From the XII century on, many more universities were founded in Europe and all over the world. University buildings became remarkable signs of European cities. Some of them are built as campuses and provide accommodations for students.

Teaching methods

Modern universities in Europe have diverse teaching methods. While German universities, for example, follow the Humboldtian model and place importance on seminars, communication freedom and scholar’s involvement in the teaching process, the French ones are stricter and more narrative.

Although, the most common teaching forms at the European universities are lectures, seminars, research, internships, exams and final thesis.


As nowadays there are several types of higher education institutions different than the traditional universities - Business School, University of Applied Sciences, College, University of Technology and etc., there are significant classification criteria that vary by country.

However, universities differentiate by their sponsorship and foundation – there are private, public and national universities. The private ones are not funded by government, but independently or by donations.

Their tuition fees are usually higher than the public and national ones. Public universities are sponsored by state or municipality, whereby the national (or state) one may also belong to this group – all depends on the country’s law. 


As a general rule, most of the universities offer undergraduate (Bachelor) and postgraduate studies (Master and Doctorate). There are also other types like Integrated Master (longer Bachelors study awarded with a Master degree). Most of the degree types in Europe are similar, but the degree titles also vary by country, though. 

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Find the best university and learn more about the institution and what Masters programmes it offer:

comprehensive profile   Nyenrode Business Universiteit
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comprehensive profile   University of Antwerp
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