Further Education

Information about post-school education in the Netherlands, including vocational training and university...

Higher or further education caters for students aged 18 and over. Both full-time and part-time courses are available in many subjects.

University education (Wetenschappelijke Onderwijs, WO) usually means a first degree course of at least four years. Some courses are longer for example medicine and dentistry.

Higher vocational education (Hoger Beroepsonderwijs, HBO) provides practical and theoretical training for certain occupations.

A more recent development is the introduction of combined bachelor-masters degree programmes. Both universities and HBOs can offer these courses.

The academic year lasts 42 weeks with courses usually starting the first week in September. Tuition fees are payable by all students although these are much lower for residents than they are for international students. Dutch residents (and some foreign students) who are under 30 years of age may apply for a study allowance. The amount of the allowance varies according to personal circumstances.

  • For more information on study allowances, see the DUO website (in Dutch, with information for foreign students in English)

The Netherlands recognises entry qualifications from other European countries according to several bilateral agreements. However, EU citizens will also need to pass an English-language examination to ensure they are able to read and write the language well before being offered a place.

For more information on further education opportunities in the Netherlands consult:

  • NUFFIC - Netherlands Organisation for International Co-operation in Higher Education