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Education
Amsterdam Connect > Education

Education system in the Netherlands


Children attend the elementary school (´basisscchool´) between the ages of four to twelve. This kind of schools have eight grades. School attendance is compulsory from group 2 (at age five), but most of the time children attend school at the age of four (in group 1)

At the age of 11 or 12 children will attend to high school (´voortgezet onderwijs´). Depending on the advice of the elementary school and the score of the CITO test, pupils are assigned to either the VMBO, HAVO, VWO or Gymnasium level.


The MBO (middle level vocational education) is a school oriented towards vocational training. Many pupils with a VMBO-Degree attend MBO. Some MBO students will go the HBO (higher professional education), but most of them will start a real job after graduation.

With a HAVO or VWO diploma, students are able to enroll in HBO. It is orientated towards higher learning and professional training, which usually takes four years. After gradution the student will receive a Bachelor degree. They can also choose to study longer and obtain a Master Degree in 2 years at the university after their Bachelor degree.

People who have a VWO diploma can enter a WO (Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs) directly to follow a Bachelor and afterwards a Master. People who have obtained all the study points from the first year on HBO can enter a WO, but only a study related to their HBO subject.

For useful information about studying at university in Amsterdam, check this website of the University of Amsterdam (UvA): http://www.english.uva.nl/education


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