Vocational secondary education
Secondary vocational education (middelbaar beroepsonderwijs, MBO) consists of 4 different levels:
- Level 1 (assistant training, entreeopleiding) lasts 1 year and leads to an MBO diploma at level 1.
- Level 2 (basic vocational training, basisberoepsopleiding) lasts 2 years and leads to an MBO diploma at level 2.
- Level 3 (professional training, vakopleiding) lasts 3 years and leads to an MBO diploma at level 3.
- Level 4 (middle-management training, middenkaderopleiding) lasts 3 or 4 years and leads to an MBO diploma at level 4.
- Level 4 (specialist training, specialistenopleiding) lasts 1 year, is open to students who have completed a vocational or middle-management training, and leads to an MBO diploma at level 4.
The MBO diploma is classified as level 1-4 of the Dutch Qualifications Framework (NLQF), depending on the duration and specialisation of the programme.
MBO learning pathways
In addition to the levels and training described, MBO students can choose between 2 learning pathways:
- The school-based pathway (BOL) – students spend at least 20% and no more than 60% of their study programme working in the professional practice.
- The work-based pathway (BBL) – students spend at least 60% of their study programme working in the professional practice.
The professional practice makes up a key aspect of both pathways. Both pathways are leading to the same diploma.
Types of MBO institutions
There are different types of educational institutions that offer secondary vocational education (MBO):
- regional training centres (ROCs);
- agricultural training centres (AOCs);
- vocational schools.
Some of these institutions offer bilingual MBO programmes. See Overzicht tweetalige mbo-opleidingen (in Dutch).