offering a curriculum geared to pupils’ needs. Secondary education
paves the way for vocational or higher education. The higher education
system aims to provide top-quality teaching and training at professional
or academic level. Special education is provided to pupils with
learning and behavioural difficulties.
schools, special schools for primary education for children with
learning and behavioural difficulties and children with learning
disabilities and special primary and secondary education. Primary
education is intended for all children aged four to approximately twelve
2. Secondary education
publicly and privately run. There are four types of secondary education,
ranging from pre-university education to practical training. Young
people must attend school until the age of 18 or until they have
obtained a basic qualification. Schools are putting extra effort into
improving children’s language and numeracy skills.
- pre-university education (VWO);
- senior general secondary education (HAVO);
- pre-vocational secondary education (VMBO);
- practical training (PRO).
of 12 and begin with a period of basic secondary education
pupils for university. Senior general secondary education, or HAVO,
takes five years and prepares pupils for higher professional education
(HBO). In the first three years of HAVO and VWO (the lower years) the
emphasis is on general knowledge and skills. Specialisation takes place
in the upper years (the last three years of VWO, or the last two years
4. Pre-vocational education (VMBO)
and secondary vocational (MBO). VMBO prepares children for secondary
The total VMBO programme takes four years. Pupils follow a general
curriculum in the first two years, after which they choose a learning
pathway and a sector. There are four sectors:
- care and welfare;
- engineering and technology;
5. After VMBO
Many pupils who complete VMBO go on to secondary vocational
education (MBO). This greatly increases their chances on the job market.
The VMBO leaving certificate does not qualify as a basic qualification.
Pupils who are not yet 18 on finishing VMBO are required by law to
continue their education until they reach the age of 18 or attain a
basic qualification (at least an MBO level 2 certificate).
6. Higher education
university education (WO). These types of education are provided by HBO
institutions (hogescholen) and universities respectively.
Bachelor’s and master’s degrees
All HBO and university courses fall under the bachelor-master
system. Bachelor’s degree programmes are broader, while master’s degree
programmes lead to specialisation in a chosen field. HBO bachelor’s
degree programmes take four years, university bachelor’s programmes
three. A master’s degree programme takes up to two years, while master’s
programmes in engineering can last longer.
So, how about your decision to study abroad ? 🙂
Reference : http://www.government.nl/issues/education