The Dutch educational system is different from the system you are used to. There are different levels that educate towards different professions. You will find more information on this page.
The Dutch educational system in divided in 2 ways.
⇒ According to age:
- Elementary school (till the age of 12)
- Secondary school (high school), from the age of 12 to 16, 17, 18
⇒ Further education after secondary school (high school): according to level: mbo (ROC), hbo (HAN University of Applied Sciences) or the university (Radboud University).
Secondary school (High school)
After elementary school, children are able to move up/put through to 4 levels of secondary school. From low level to high level:
⇒ Praktijkonderwijs (Possible till the 18th birthday)
⇒ Vmbo (4 years)
⇒ Havo (5 years)
⇒ Vwo (6 years)
After secondary school: continue studying
There are 3 levels within further education:
(scientific education/ university)
|School in Nijmegen||ROC en Helicon||Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN)||Radboud Universiteit|
|Pre-education||Vmbo, havo or vwo||Mbo, havo of vwo||1e jaar hbo (bachelor, propedeuse) of vwo|
|Duration||1-4 jaar||Usually 4 years||Usually 4 years|
|Diploma||mbo-diploma (level 1, 2, 3 of 4)||Bachelor||Bachelor after 3 years, then 1 or more eyars for your Master degree|
|Average age of most students||16-20 years||17-21 years||18-22 years|
|Content||The aim of the study is practical (hands-on). You will learn mostly carrying out a profession.||You will learn to apply the gained knowledge during your study.||You will learn to think in abstract and theoretical ways.|
|Aim||The study is aimed at a profession. You will trained and educated towards one type of profession.||You will be trained towards an occupational group. This could mean a executive or managerial position.||When graduated, you will able to carry out a profession, but also focus on doing research, managerial and decision-making positions.|
> Most of the classes are mandatory
|You will learn during lectures and workshops. Your classes will be a lot smaller than in university. Tempo is much higher than mbo. You will be required to carry out a lot of assignments.||Lectures in university will be given to large groups. An academic study requires discipline. You will have to study on your own. You will be given freedom of choice within the programme.|
|Will you learn on the job?||You will learn a lot during internships/placements. This means you will be learning while carrying out your profession at a company or institution. You will have a lot of counseling/guidance.||During several time periods you will be attending an internship/placement. While being at your internship/ placement you will have a lot of responsibility.||Internships/placements are just a minor part of your study. The study will end with doing research and writing a thesis. In some cases you will do so in order of an organization.|
|Sample professions||Administrative employee, carpenter, nurse, sales employee, traindriver, car mechanic, chef, teaching assistant.||Head nurse, manager of a department, communication employee, engineer, head mechanic, car technician, math teacher, english teacher at a secondary school.||Doctor, researcher, communications advisor, psychologist, media professional, anthropologist, manager, historian, islamologist, biologist, mathematician.|
Admission to hbo and university when you are old than the age of 21
When you are older than 21, and you don’t have a vwo or hbo diploma, in some cases you are able to do an entrance exam which, when passed, provides you with a chance to study hbo or university. This is called a colloquium doctum. This is not an easy test. You have to prepare well for this test.
Always inform with the study of your choice what the admission requirements are. In most cases there will be additional requirements. They might test you on prior knowledge in one or several subjects. Dutch and English studies have language requirements most of the time.