Education and diplomas Canada

View the Dutch comparison of diplomas from Canada. Or download a pdf with more detailed information about Canadian education.

Download the pdf with detailed information about the Canadian education system:
Education system Canada‌ (340.6 kB)

Common diplomas of Canada

View the Dutch comparison of the most common diplomas from Canada, the duration of schooling, the type of education and the purpose of these diplomas.

High School Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: in most cases a HAVO diploma (NLQF* 4/EQF** 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Diplôme d’Études Secondaires (DES)

  • Dutch comparison: 4 years of VWO (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).***
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to pre university education - Diplôme d’Études Collégiales (DEC).

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • Dutch comparison: in most cases a HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with 6 university preparation courses of Ontario Academic Courses (OACs)

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

High School Diploma with a relatively large number of academic courses in the 11th and 12th year with good grades

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Diplôme d’Études Collégiales (DEC) with the extension ‘préuniversitaire’ (2 years)

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

Diplôme d’Études Collégiales (DEC) with the extension 'de formation technique' or 'de formation en métiers d’art' (3 years)

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma with vocational subjects (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education with vocational components.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Certificate obtained at a college

  • Dutch comparison: 1 year HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 year.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.

Diploma obtained at a college

  • Dutch comparison: 2 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.

Associate Degree obtained at a college

  • Dutch comparison: 1 year WO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the second or third year of a university bachelor.

Bachelor’s degree (3 years)

  • Dutch comparison: 2 years WO or HBO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: profession-oriented or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Bachelor’s degree (honours) obtained at a university (4 years)

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

Bachelor’s degree (honours) obtained at a college (4 years)

  • Dutch comparison: HBO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Master's degree

  • 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: admission to doctorate programmes, upon successful completion of entrance examinations.

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

*** This evaluation has been changed compared to the previous version (see pdf).

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