General Certificate of Secondary Education in 6 subjects, with marks ranging from D-G

  • Dutch comparison: VMBO-T diploma (NLQF* 2/EQF** 2).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general lower secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to vocational secondary education and upper pre-university education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 6 subjects, with marks ranging from A* to C or 9 to 4

  • Dutch comparison: at least a VMBO-T diploma (NLQF 2/EQF 2).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general lower secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to vocational secondary education and upper pre-university education.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: MBO qualification level 3 diploma (NLQF 3/EQF 3).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years (part-time).
  • Type of education: secondary vocational education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: MBO qualification level 4 diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: secondary vocational education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education.

Access to HE Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: MBO qualification level 4 diploma, HAVO or VWO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 year.
  • Type of education: combination of general secondary and secondary vocational education (foundation programme).
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 4 subjects (A*-C or 9-4) + a General Certificate of Education with 2 relevant subjects at advanced subsidiary level (A*-C), 6 different subjects in total, preferably including English and mathematics

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 + 1 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: preparation for advanced levels (A levels).

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 4 subjects (A*-C or 9-4) + a General Certificate of Education with 2 relevant subjects at advanced level (D-E), 6 different subjects in total, preferably including English and mathematics

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 + 2 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: preparation for access to higher education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 3 subjects (A*-C or 9-4) + a General Certificate of Education with 3 relevant, academic (and some vocational) subjects at advanced level (A*-C), 6 different subjects in total, including English and mathematics

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 + 2 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Higher National Certificate

  • Dutch comparison: 2 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years (part time).
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to university bachelors.

Higher National Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: 3 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to the third year of a university bachelor.

Honours Bachelor degree

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 to 4 years.
  • Type of education: profession-oriented or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Master of Science/Master of Arts

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO master’s degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: profession-oriented or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Master of Philosophy

  • Dutch comparison: WO master’s degree (research master) (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

* NLQF = Dutch Qualifications Framework
** EQF = European Qualifications Framework

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