The Dutch education system


In the Netherlands, 3,5 million pupils and students go to school every day in more than 8700 schools. Education is provided mainly in Dutch, but there are several schools that are focused on teaching pupils in English.

One of the qualities of education in the Netherlands is its freedom. This means that schools can decide for themselves what courses they give and how to give them. Of course the government sets out a few rules such as the number of hours children should be in school per year, the goals for exams, etc.

Compulsory education

Education is compulsory in the Netherlands. Children are required to attend school full time from the age of 5 until they are 17, or at least until the end of the school year in which they turn 16. After this period, children are required to go to school at least one day a week until the end of the school year in which they turn 17.

The education in the Netherlands is regulated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap). They have a website where you can find information in English about the educational system ( ).

University studies

Dutch universities have a reputation of being at the forefront in the development and introduction of new teaching methods. Dutch education is both efficiently run and internationally oriented.

Coming to Holland one can get the following degrees at Dutch Universities:

  • Bachelor degree at universities of applied sciences;
  • Master degree at classic universities;
  • PhD degree at classic universities or at special international post-university institutions

Further reading

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