Education and diplomas South Africa

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View the Dutch comparison of diplomas from South Africa. Or download a pdf with more detailed information about South African education.

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Common diplomas of South Africa

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

National Senior Certificate with minimal requirements for admission to a bachelor’s degree programme

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: upper general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

National diploma

  • Dutch comparison: 3 years HBO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to bachelor's programmes in higher education.

Bachelor (3 years)

  • Dutch comparison: 3 years HBO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the first cycle in higher education (honours bachelor).

Bachelor (4 years)

  • Dutch comparison: HBO bachelor’s degree or 2 years WO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to master's programmes in higher education.

Bachelor degree in architecture (5 years)

  • Dutch comparison: WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to master's programmes in higher education.

Bachelor degree in dentistry (5½ years)

  • Dutch comparison: WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 5½ years.
  • Type of education: research based.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to master's programmes in higher education.

Bachelor (6 years)

  • Dutch comparison: at least WO bachelor's degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 6 years.
  • Type of education: research based.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to master's programmes in higher education.

Bachelor Honours

  • Dutch comparison: HBO bachelor’s degree or 2 years WO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 year.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to master's programmes in higher education.

Master (1-2 year)

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

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

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