Best of both worlds? From a university of applied sciences to a research university

Lynn Spendel Reading time Minutes

It is possible to apply for a study at a research university after obtaining your bachelor's at a university of applied sciences. The unique combination of the more practical knowledge obtained at a bachelor's programme and the academical knowledge at a master's programme can be helpful for students who like to both be educated in the professional and research field.

Bridging the gap   

Yifei Yu studied Construction Engineering at the Nanchang Institute of Technology in China, before he applied for the short degree programme Civil Engineering at Saxion. After finishing his short degree programme, he decided that he wanted to continue studying and applied for a pre-master at the University of Twente. ‘’I decided that I wanted to obtain a master’s degree in Construction Management and Engineering. But before entering the master’s programme, I had to enrol for a pre-master programme. A pre-master is a transfer programme that intends to bridge the gap between your bachelor at a university of applied sciences and your future master’s programme. You basically acquire the necessary academic skills that you’ll need for a master’s programme. During your pre-master, you will get educated in mathematical and methodological courses, in order to prepare for your master’s programme.’’

Becoming a practical thinker

Yifei considered his time as a Saxion student as an important transition in his academic life. ‘’I was pleasantly surprised by the teaching style in the Netherlands. Where I am from, the educational relationship is more distant. At Saxion, there was a positive dynamic between the lecturers and the students. I really valued the feedback loops: when you are working on a project at Saxion, you do not receive straight forward feedback but rather constructive feedback that continuously helps you to improve your work.’’

The Chinese student was also surprised by the close connection to the working field during his time at Saxion. ‘’I cannot emphasize enough the value of obtaining professional skills as a student during your studies. I learned to implement my acquired knowledge directly to real life projects, which challenged me to step away from theory and become a practical thinker.’’

Saxion challenged me to step away from theory and learned me how to become a practical thinker.

Yifei Yu, former student Civil Engineering at Saxion

Creating circularity in the construction industry

Yifei got inspired during his studies at Saxion to focus on creating circularity in the construction industry, an industry that has a lot of potential for implementing circularity but has so far not yet applied circularity to the utmost extent. And this is why Yifei decided to continue his studies by applying for a pre-master and later on for a master in Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Twente. ‘’I decided that I wanted to continue to carry out research on how to create circularity in the construction industry. I learned the basic fundamental knowledge of this certain field at Saxion, and wanted to expand my knowledge on this topic.’’

A practical and a theoretical manner

Recently graduated from his master at the University of Twente, Yifei was offered a PhD position in Smart Circular Construction Ecosystems at the same university. ‘’I started to work as a junior researcher at the university, after my graduation. Later on, I decided to apply for a PhD position and my application was successfully accepted. I believe that by possessing a bachelor degree from Saxion, which has brought me fundamental and practical knowledge, as well as a master degree at the University of Twente, which has taught and challenged me to become more academical and analytical, I can innovate my knowledge in the society of the future in a practical as well as in a theoretical manner.’’

Are you ready to discover your future?

Experience studying at Saxion from the comfort of your own home, by visiting the Digital Discovery Days. Meet with lecturers and students online via live streams and find out everything you want to know about your preferred study programme!

Digital Discovery Days

Lynn Spendel

Lynn is a creative content specialist at the International Office at Saxion. She enjoys working in a (online) international environment and is always looking for inspiring and captivating stories with an international voice. 

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