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History

Since the mid-1980s, the higher vocational education sector in the Netherlands has faced some turbulent times. In South Limburg there had been an initial agreement to form one large higher vocational education college. However, as a result of numerous reasons, this planned merger failed at the very last minute. Since the late 1980s, however, several higher vocational education institutions in South Limburg accomplished a larger merger through some small and some significant intervening steps. Maastricht University of Applied Sciences was founded from the merger between several higher vocational education institutions. Similarly, in 1987 Heerlen University of Applied Sciences was founded; and then in 1996 Limburg University of Applied Sciences was founded as a result of a merger between Sittard University of Applied Sciences, Heerlen University of Applied Sciences, and HEAO Limburg (Higher Economic and Administrative Education Limburg) in Sittard. In 2001 the planned merger of Limburg University of Applied Sciences and Maastricht University of Applied Sciences was completed by the opening of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences.