Student life in The Hague, Delft and Zoetermeer

The Hague University of Applied Sciences has campuses in three cities: The Hague, Delft and Zoetermeer. Each city has its own unique charm. We would be happy to share with you a few of the highlights. One of the advantages of these three cities is that they are close to each other, giving you easy access to the best hotspots in all three.

The Hague

The Hague is bursting with culture and creativity and offers students an all-round experience, from galleries packed with Dutch masters to idyllic beaches and parks and buzzing nightclubs. It’s a small-scale, hospitable city with an international attitude. In The Hague, students are in the hub of Dutch politics and international justice. The Binnenhof parliament building and many legal institutions are located in The Hague. Students graduating from The Hague have a head start in industry with an international outlook and names of renowned organisations on their CVs.

Cultural highlights

The Hague has many cultural highlights, including Mauritshuis, the home of Vermeer’s iconic Girl with a Pearl Earring painting, the Mondriaan collection at Municipal Museum and the Peace Palace. The city boasts excellent theatres and music venues and is reputed to be Holland’s top pop city. Parkpop, Europe’s largest free festival, takes place in June. Scheveningen’s sandy beaches, just outside the city centre are a popular place to relax.

City of peace and justice

The Hague has worked hard to earn its title - International City of Peace, Justice and Security. The city boasts around 131 international institutes and 80 justice organisations and follows only New York, Geneva and Vienna in importance as a United Nations city. Since 1913, the Peace Palace has been a centre of world justice, hosting the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice. The International Yugoslavia Tribunal, Europol and the International Criminal Court are located in The Hague, along with many other courts, tribunals and NGOs.


The Hague’s international attitude and location in the heart of Europe attracts big-name multinational companies and organisations, including Shell, Siemens and KPN. THUAS taps into the resources of the 300 international businesses in the city, which collaborate on our programmes. Unilever, DSM, Shell and the International Criminal Court are just some examples of the companies and organisations offering work placements and providing guest lecturers.

An international city

It’s little wonder that this cosmopolitan city with its global business and justice links attracts over 40,000 students, making it a truly international student city. As well as being the seat of Dutch government, all foreign embassies to the Netherlands are located in The Hague. English is the preferred language of communication – and there is always the chance to pick up a little Dutch. The city’s diverse student societies are an ideal place to mingle with people from different backgrounds.

The Hague:

Facts about The Hague

  • Population: 497,000 inhabitants from over 100 different nationalities
  • Location: North Sea coast with 11km of coastline and two beach resorts
  • Green city: 990 acres of woodland and 70,000 roadside trees
  • City of peace and justice: 80 dedicated international organisations
  • Total length of bicycle paths: 500km


Delft is a rich city and a hub for technology, history, creativity and innovation. The popular tourist and business centre built on reclaimed 'polder' land, is well known for its House of Orange royal heritage, old churches, canals, blue delftware pottery and Golden Age painter Vermeer.

This vibrant and historic city is also a technical and scientific hub with its clusters of research centres and environmental technology companies. The perfect place to your nurture your technical, creative and analytical skills.

Cultural highlight

Delft has a colourful history. The city is famous for its trademark hand-painted blue ceramics, which first became popular amongst more affluent residents in the 16th century. The House of Orange had strong links with Delft and there are many sites to explore, from the royal residence Prinsenhof where William of Orange was shot to the towering gothic New Church where the royal family are buried. The old centre of Delft is a buzzing student centre with its canal-side bars, bohemian shops and cheap restaurants.

Technology and innovation

Delft has gained national and international recognition as a centre for technology and innovation with its knowledge-based institutions, global companies and buzzing student population. Clusters of enterprising companies that are part of the region's Clean Tech Delta and Medical Delta are based in Delft. The Technological Innovation Campus is a hot bed for environmental research into sustainable energy sources and biofuels, as well as cancer treatments. The UN Water Centre and UNESCO-IHE are also based in Delft.


Delft ranks highly in the Netherlands as a creative city with its foundations set firmly in the Golden Age. The 17th century painter Johannes Vermeer lived and painted in the city. The Vermeer Centre celebrates his life and work. The 'father of microbiology' and microscope innovator Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek was also born in Delft. Shops and museums are bursting with bright blue porcelain in this 'ceramics city'.

Learning in the Delft

Delft has a booming knowledge economy with universities based there – like The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS). We join institutions like TNO, Deltares, UNESCO-IHE, DSM and Exact to work together in a truly high-tech environment which invests heavily in innovation. The new THUAS campus promotes modern and innovative education, with a highly practical and open approach. Students develop their individual talents during their studies and gain experience relevant to their private and working lives.

Facts about Delft

  • Population: 96,168
  • City of technology, creativity and innovation
  • Location: South Holland
  • Number of historic churches: 8
  • Oldest canal: 750 years


The municipality of Zoetermeer was formed in 1935 when the two villages of Zoetermeer and Zegwaart joined with a population of 4,500. In 1966, Zoetermeer became a city when it expanded with overspill housing population from The Hague. Zoetermeer is the foodie city behind the chain Brinkers and the supermarket chain Spar. The city is also known for its vast park, Westerpark, and Zoetermeer, or Sweet Lake. There is a continual investment in growth with a new housing development at Oosterheem-Zuidwest and the BleiZo railway station.

Cultural highlights

The centre of Zoetermeer is filled with squares, shops, cafés and restaurants. Zoetermeer draws visitors to its Stadstheater theatre and Cultuurpodium De Boerderij concert venue. With its parks, lake and surrounding forest Zoetermeer is a green city. It is also well known for its high-octane sports venues.  Zoetermeer hosts the indoor ski centre SnowWorld, water sports venue Dutch Waterdreams,  Ayers Rock (climbing wall) and PWA Silverdome ice skating rink. There is an 18-hole, championship golf course at Burggolf.


There are some large international offices in Zoetermeer. Nutrica have employed people in its medical nutrition products factory since 1896. Global IT companies like Siemens and Getronics are also based here. Dutch government offices such as AIVD (the General Intelligence and Security Service) and IPOL (police information hub) are located in Zoetermeer.

A green city

Zoetermeer is surrounded by a green, spacious landscape. The west and east of the city are bordered by forests and the region has several notable parks, including the lush 225-acre Westerpark recreation park with its meadows and football pitches and the Wijk en Wouden National Park nature reserve. The city regulates companies and institutions through the Sustainable Zoetermeer programme, to help reduce CO2 omissions. 

City of leisure, innovation and ICT

The city has a strong leisure focus, with Olympic-standard venues including the Oosterheem sports centre and many outdoor recreational areas and nature reserves, such as Bentwoud.

More IT professionals live in Zoetermeer than anywhere else in The Netherlands (13 per cent of total employment) earning it its nickname, the city of ICT.

Learning in Zoetermeer

The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) in Zoetermeer offers bachelors programmes in Business IT and Management, Computer Science and Information Security Management at its ICT and media academy. THUAS also forges great links between young people and the city's ICT community, which often results in a number of job opportunities after graduation.

Dutch Innovation Factory (DIF)

THUAS also partners with the Dutch Innovation Factory (DIF) in Zoetermeer, an education, research and entrepreneurship community where around 400 THUAS students and professionals can share knowledge and experience. DIF is based in a former 1960's margarine factory, which includes meeting rooms and common areas for brainstorming. DIF organises events, guest lectures and online knowledge sharing.

Facts about Zoetermeer

  • Population: 123,000 inhabitants
  • Location: Centre of the Randstad region
  • City of leisure, innovation and ICT: Home of the highest percentage of IT professionals in the Netherlands.
  • Number of neighbourhoods: 15
  • Number of houses by 2018: 52,000