Education System in the Netherlands

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Getting a degree from abroad gives you access to a wide range of options and puts you on the road to success.

In the Netherlands, there are two types of higher education institutions: research universities and universities of applied sciences. General universities, engineering, and agriculture institutions, and the Open University are all examples of research universities. Universities of applied sciences include both general and specialized institutions, such as those specializing in agriculture, fine and performing arts, or teacher education. While research institutions are responsible for providing research-oriented programs, universities of applied sciences provide 2/4 of higher professional education programs that train students for specific occupations. These programs are more practical than those offered by research universities. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees are conferred in this binary, three-cycle system. Universities of applied sciences provide short-cycle higher education leading to an associate's degree.

The ECTS credit system is used to quantify degree programs and study periods. A research-oriented bachelor's program requires 180 credits (three years) depending on the topic. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Laws (BA/BSc/LLB). A bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences typically requires 240 credits (four years). The majority of students earn a BA/BSc/or LLB degree; however, those who complete programs in business administration, social work, education, or music can earn a BBA/BSW/BEd or BM. Students with a vocational diploma may be excluded from one year of study, allowing them to complete a bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences in three years (after completion of 180 credits). 120 credits (two years) are required for an associate's degree (Ad) in applied arts and sciences, and students who finish the two-year program can pursue a bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences.

A research-oriented master's degree requires 60, 90, or 120 credits to complete (one, one, and a half, or two years). 120 credits are always required in engineering, agriculture, mathematics, and natural sciences. A Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Laws (MA/MSc/LLM) is awarded to graduates. A master's degree in applied arts and sciences requires 60 to 120 credits to be completed. Most students obtain an MA/MSc/or LLM degree, but those graduating from programs in social work, music, education, and business administration may obtain an MBA/MSW/MEd or MM, respectively.

Only research universities offer the third cycle of higher education, which leads to a Ph.D. or a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng). An important requirement for obtaining a Ph.D. offered by all research universities is the submission of a dissertation based on original research which is publicly defended.

The Netherlands was one of the first countries in Europe to offer Bachelor/degrees, Master's, and other programs in English. You can choose from over 2100 courses offered by 77 higher education institutions, covering many areas and specialties. Every year, more than 112,000 students from all around the world study in the Netherlands.

Third-level education is a form of higher education that offers advanced or short courses appropriate for overseas students. HBO (university of applied sciences or Hogeschool) and WO (University of Western Europe) are the two most general classifications used in the Netherlands (academic university education). Both HBO and WO institutions provide Bachelor's and Master's degrees; however, only Dutch universities (WO) offer Ph.D. programs.

The Netherlands, like the rest of Europe, quantifies study workload in ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. The Dutch grading system is used from 10 (outstanding) to 1 (extremely poor). A minimum score of 5.5 is required to pass. The scale goes from one to ten. The desired grades are sometimes determined by the type of program/study that you are pursuing. For a Master's degree, a 7.5% average is sufficient, but not for a Ph.D.

The Netherlands pioneered the concept of a joint-stock business. It is home to some of the world's top corporations and many international conglomerates. Because the country has a global attitude, getting work after graduation or studying is not a problem. A scholastic accomplishment is earning a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a Dutch university.

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Grad-Dreams can assist you in realizing your dream of studying in the Netherlands. Our structured approach simplifies the entire process, starting from selecting the most suitable courses and universities to providing meticulous support throughout the application journey. We offer personalized guidance, ensuring that each student receives tailored advice and assistance, including documentation support (we especially prioritize helping you to make compelling SOP, Essays, and LOR), financial planning, and visa guidance. Additionally, we extend our services to include education loan assistance, easing financial barriers that students may face. What sets us apart is our track record of success – many of our students have received scholarships, further facilitating their academic pursuits in the Netherlands. With Grad-Dreams, you not only gain access to exceptional educational opportunities but also benefit from our proven expertise and support network every step of the way. The testimonials we receive from our students not only emphasize their success stories but also give us immense pride and satisfaction about the work we do.

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