Education and diplomas South Africa

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

Download the pdf with detailed information about the South African education system:
Education system South Africa‌ (258.5 kB)

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 Senior Certificate after completion of the IEB exams

  • Dutch comparison: at least a 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 the labour market and to bachelor's programmes.

Bachelor (3 years)

  • Dutch comparison: 3 years HBO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: profession-oriented or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to bachelor honours programmes.

Bachelor Honours

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).***
  • Duration of schooling: at least 1 year (following a 3-year bachelor).
  • Type of education: profession-oriented or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to master's programmes.

Bachelor (4 years)

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or 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 the labour market and to master's programmes.

Bachelor in Architecture (5 years)

  • Dutch comparison: WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: profession-oriented or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to master's programmes.

Bachelor in Dentistry (5½ years)

  • Dutch comparison: at least a WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 5½ years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to master's programmes.

Bachelor (6 years)

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

Master

  • 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 the labour market and to doctoral programmes.

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

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

Checking the evaluation of a diploma?

Find out how to apply for a diploma evaluation.

Do you work for a Dutch education institution?

Check the possibilities for diploma evaluation for institutions (in Dutch).

‘It's all about the will and confidence in each other's education systems’

6 July 2020
A degree does not automatically give you access to advanced programmes abroad. It often takes a lot of time and money to get a degree recognised, and this needs to be changed.

Students guide to e-learning available now

25 February 2020
In selecting online courses, students often have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. Nuffic, in collaboration with the European Students Union (ESU), has published a new handy guide to help students choose the right course.