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Education system in the Netherlands

Research University or University of Applied Sciences?

In the Netherlands we have universities of applied sciences and research universities, but do they exist in other countries? Many countries do not distinguish between higher professional education (hbo) and university education (wo or university). However The Netherlands and some other, mainly European, countries do make this distinction.

University of Applied Sciences

Higher professional education is taught at universities of applied sciences. This means that besides theoretical knowledge, the student will get practical hands on experience through internships, group work and so on.

In other countries ‘hbo’ is either called Polytechnic (University) or University of Applied Sciences. This type of education can be found mainly in European countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Sweden. In countries like Australia, England and New Zealand all higher education is provided at an university and in America and Canada higher education can also be attended at a college.

Programmes that are typically ‘hbo’ in the Netherlands such as journalism, nursing, physical therapy, are offered at universities in other countries. In these countries the bachelor phase is called the undergraduate stage. The master and PhD degrees are called postgraduate in Australia, New Zealand and England and graduate in America and Canada.

School system in the Netherlands

For some people the school system in the Netherlands can be quite confusing. Well in fact, it is pretty easy to understand. Just watch this video.