Education and diplomas the Netherlands

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View a description of diplomas from the Netherlands. Or download a pdf with more detailed information about Dutch education.

Download the pdf with detailed information about the Dutch education system:
Education system the Netherlands‌ (3.4 MB)

Common diplomas of the Netherlands

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

VMBO-bb

  • NLQF* level: 1.
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: preparatory vocational secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to MBO 2.

MBO 1

  • NLQF level: 1.
  • Duration of schooling: 1 year.
  • Type of education: senior secondary vocational education and training.
  • Purpose of diploma: can qualify for access to MBO 2.

VMBO-kb, VMBO-gl and VMBO-tl (VMBO-tl is more commonly referred to as VMBO-T)

  • NLQF level: 2.
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: preparatory general and vocational secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment and/or access to MBO, and access to HAVO with VMBO T, sometimes also with VMBO gl.

MBO 2

  • NLQF level: 2.
  • Duration of schooling: 1-2 years.
  • Type of education: senior secondary vocational education and training.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment.

MBO 3

  • NLQF level: 3.
  • Duration of schooling: 2-3 years
  • Type of education: senior secondary vocational education and training.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment.

MBO 4

  • NLQF level: 4.
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: senior secondary vocational education and training.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment and/or access to an associate’s degree programme or an HBO bachelor programme.

HAVO

  • NLQF level: 4.
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: senior general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to a bachelor programme at a university of applied sciences.

VWO

  • NLQF level: 4+.
  • Duration of schooling: 6 years.
  • Type of education: university preparatory education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to a bachelor programme at research-oriented universities and/or universities of applied sciences.

Associate Degree

  • NLQF level: 5.
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: short cycle higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment and/or further study in a bachelor programme offered by universities of applied sciences.

Bachelor HBO

  • NLQF level: 6.
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: prepares for employment and/or further study at master’s level.

Bachelor WO

  • NLQF level: 6.
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented higher education.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment and/or further study at master’s level.

Master HBO

  • NLQF level: 7.
  • Duration of schooling: 1-2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education, graduate level.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment and/or further study at PhD level.

Master WO

  • NLQF level: 7.
  • Duration of schooling: 1-3 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented higher education, graduate level.
  • Purpose of diploma: employment and/or further study at PhD level.

Doctor

  • NLQF level: 8.
  • Duration of schooling: 4+ years.
  • Type of education: research oriented higher education, graduate level.
  • Purpose of diploma: independent scientific research.

* NLQF = Dutch Qualifications Framework

Checking the evaluation of a diploma?

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Nuffic publishes 6 new descriptions of foreign education systems

24 January 2019
Nuffic has published 6 new descriptions of foreign education systems in recent weeks: Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Tunisia and Venezuela.

Subject-based immersion study visit to Birmingham

1 December 2019 10 a.m. - 6 December 2019 6 p.m.
Birmingham
On this study visit you will experience subject-based immersion in an English school. You will also attend the prestigious SSAT National Conference in Birmingham.