The education system in Netherlands consists of eight years of primary education, four, five or six years of secondary education (based on different school) and takes two to six years of higher education (based on different degree, various university policy). Netherland govt. brings Compulsory education at the age of 5, most schools prefer children from the age of 4. There is a partial compulsory education begins from the age of sixteen. Compulsory education will be ended for aged eighteen and when they will achieve a diploma on the HAVO or MBO level and has the opportunity to study more or higher education.

Primary and secondary education

According to the education system in Netherlands, Primary education is compulsory for children in the age from four to twelve. This type of education system in Netherlands lasts 8 years and is provided by schools for primary education. The generic name for these types of education is primary onderwijs.

After ending of group 8, the last year of primary education, pupils select a type of secondary education on the basis of a addressing from their school, their own preference and in many cases a national test known as the Citotoets.

Basis on the education system in Netherlands, Secondary education, which starts at the age of 12 and is mandatory until the age of 16, is offered at different levels. Vmbo programmes which takes 4 years combine general and vocational education and prepare pupils to go on to senior secondary vocational education and training, lasting one to 4 years.

There are two types of general education that grant admission to higher education: HAVO (five years) and VWO (six years). Pupils are enrolled according to their ability. The last two years of HAVO and the last three years of VWO are referred to as the ‘second phase’, or upper secondary education. During these years, pupils focus on one of four subject clusters, each of which emphasizes a certain field of study in addition to satisfying the general education requirements. Each cluster is designed to prepare pupils for study at the tertiary level. A pupil enrolled at a VWO or HAVO School can choose from the following subject clusters:

  1. Science and Technology
  2. Science and Health
  3. Economics and Society
  4. Culture and Society General secondary education (HAVO or VWO)

Higher education

Higher education in the Netherlands is much higher than any other nations which benefited by the education system in Netherlands. The higher education which is showed at 2 kindss of institutions: research universities and universities of applied sciences Research universities include general universities, universities specializing in engineering and agriculture, and the Open University. Research universities are primarily responsible for offering research-oriented programmers. Dutch research universities provide education and conduct research in a wide range of disciplines: language and culture, behavior and society, economics, law, medical and health sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and agriculture.

There are some degrees which provide different university in Holland. Those are


The HAVO (hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs) that has 5 grades and is attended at the minimum age of 12 to 17. A HAVO diploma shows access to the HBO level (polytechnic) of tertiary education.


The VOW (voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs) has six grades and is typically attended from the age of 12 to 18. A VWO diploma which shows access to WO training, although universities may aim their own admission program basis on profile or on certain object.


VAVO (Voortgezet algemeen volwassenen onderwijs) is an innovative adult school, this degree have provide only those person who dose not study at the time of opportunity, which teaches VMBO/MAVO, HAVO or VWO, for students who are unable to achieve this degree before but now they teach for this degree.

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