The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country of high quality education, where students receive a core knowledge they need for successful professional realization.
200 years ago in the Netherlands a law was introduced to guarantee the quality of Dutch education. Diplomas given in Dutch universities are recognized worldwide and are an excellent calling card in the business world.

Primary education in the Netherlands designed for children from 4 to 12 years. In the initial eight-year school children are taught reading, writing and arithmetic (the first 2 years), and then add Dutch language, Mathematics, History, Geography, Physics, Social Studies and English.

After completion of primary education students pass the national test, and depending on the results continue in secondary school in one of 3 following ways:

  • preparatory secondary education (MAVO) - 4 years;
  • general secondary or pre-university education (HAVO) - 5 years;
  • pre-university education (VWO) - 6 years.

After graduating from high school student can get 2 types of higher education:

  • Higher professional education (HBO), which lasts 3-4 years and ends with getting a professional bachelor's degree. Additional training for 1 year, qualify for a Master's degree.
  • University education (WO) lasts 4-5 years in the aggregate. After three years, graduates are awarded with a Bachelor’s degree. Additional training for 1-2 years, qualify for a Master's degree.

In 2002 the Netherlands passed a law on higher education, according to which all educational programs offered by institutions of higher education must be evaluated in terms of their compliance with the specially developed criteria.

Features of Dutch higher education system:

  • All schools are focused on the major field of study and the student has to prepare a thesis project. General subjects receive less attention. Diploma is a comprehensive report based on original research.
  • The Dutch universities are known for their progressive educational methods and programs, action-oriented. College or university involves a lot of independent work, but the most common form of training is a workshop or a group project under the supervision or a teacher.



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