Higher Education System in Holland
Higher education in Holland or the Netherlands is well known and reputed for its top quality and perfect international study atmosphere. There are more than 2,100 global study programmes and courses offered at Dutch higher educational institutions. The Netherlands has one of the most largest number of English medium programmes among the EU nations.
Binary System of Higher Education in Holland
The higher education system followed in the Netherlands is a binary one which comprises the WO or the Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs and the HBO- Hoger Beroepsonderwijs. WO are the research oriented programmes and courses offered by academic universities. HBO is professional higher education offered by hogescholen.
While the former programmes provide research and education opportunities in numerous disciplines such as economic, law, medical and health sciences as well as language and culture, the latter studies are of a more practical nature. Along with this, there is an Open Universiteit or Open University that provides fully recognised university degree programmes via distance education. Foreign students can meet their requirements for global education through IO or International Education known as Internationaal Onderwijs (IO).
Three Cycle Degree System in the Netherlands
Since the start of the academic year in the month of September, 2002, higher education system in the Netherlands has been organised as per a 3 cycle degree system with Bachelor, Master's and doctoral studies programmes and courses. The ECTS system or the European Credit Transfer System was implemented for the quantification of higher education study programmes. The laws governing education include the Adult and Vocational Education Act passed in the year 1996 as well as Higher Education and Research Act 1993 amended in the year 2002. The academic year stretches from September to June and medium of instruction includes Dutch and English.
Credits for Degree Programmes
Degree programmes require determination of both number of credits required for the completion of the programme as well as the manner in which the degree is awarded. Research oriented undergraduate programme requires completion of 180 credits and it lasts for three years. For such programmes, graduates get the degree Bachelor of Arts or Science (BA/Bsc) depending upon the discipline. Bachelor's degree programmes awarded in appled arts and sciences needs around 240 credits and lass for four years. Students pursuing these courses get the degree in a particular field of study such as engineering or nursing. Associate degrees in applied arts and sciences needs 120 credits and last for around two years. Students who complete this programme can study for bachelor's degree in applied subjects only.
Research based master's programme required completion of credits amounting to 60, 90 and 120 for one, 1and 1/2 or 2 years. 120 credits are needed in subjects such as agriculture, maths and natural sciences. Graduates also receive Masters of Arts or Science following the completion of this degree. Master's degree in applied sciences is equivalent to 60 to 120 credits. The third cycle of higher education resulting in a PhD is provided by research universities. This is the requirement which has led to the completion of the original research and a dissertation on the basis of that. All research universities offer doctoral level programmes.
Apart from this, there are also specialised studies in the field of engineering as three engineering universities offer technological designer programmes comprising advanced study and personal design assignment in numerous engineering fields. This programme requires two years to complete and graduates obtain the degree of Professional Doctorate in Engineering as a result of this known as PDENg. Training of medical specialists is is in the hands of university hospitals.
Reasons to Study in Holland
Holland has a huge number of advantages when it comes to being a study destination. According to the official Study in Holland portal, The Netherlands has a highly developed system of professional education as well as academic education. Holland is the best choice when it comes to vibrancy and culture as well as its rich legacy has left students with an enriching and rewarding learning atmosphere. Holland also scores when it comes to world class studies and degrees which are internationally recognised.
International Students in Holland and as Popular Study Destination
According to the Study in Holland portal, in the academic year 2012-2013, Holland has hosted around 90,500 international students from different nations across the world. Through government sponsored programmes, there were 43,500 students from EU and EFTA nations in the Netherlands. The EFTA countries are Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. Around 20,350 students were from nations other than those in the EU or EFTA region. Around 9,600 students arrived in Holland this year as part of the Erasmus scholarship programme or through residence permit for internship.
Of the remaining 17,050 students, a majority enrolled in other programmes or follow part of a study programme for gaining credits for home studies. Of the entire number of international students for this year, around 26,050 were from Germany while another 6,400 were from China. From Belgium, around 2,900 students arrived to study in Holland this year. About 2,450 students from Spain and another 2,300 from France also studied in Holland for this academic year. Due to its high standards of education, Holland is a popular international study destination.
Popular Courses in Holland
Popular degree programmes among international students have also been identified by the Study in Holland portal. As far as research universities are concerned, these include economics, engineering, behaviour and society as well as language and culture. At Universities of applied sciences too, these are the popular courses, according to Holland's official study portal.
Going for higher studies to Holland is a wonderful idea. The high standard of excellence of education as well as superlative quality of higher education here is vastly beneficial for students who want a thorough grasp of educational facts and programmes. Holland's higher education system is open and vibrant. It is also extremely oriented towards the development of students as either professionals or academicians.