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Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Types of institutions

The upper years of secondary school include the 4th and 5th years of HAVO and the 4th, 5th and 6th years of VWO. The upper years of HAVO and VWO are also known as pre-higher education, as they prepare pupils for university of applied sciences and university, respectively. Pupils choose one of four subject combinations (profile). These are related to sectors in society.

The aims of the upper years of HAVO and VWO are:

  • to provide a broad general education and to ensure cohesion between the various subjects
  • harmonisation with the methods used in higher education.

Since 2003, VMBO pupils who have successfully completed the theoretical programme may transfer from VMBO to the 4th year of HAVO. Pupils with HAVO certificates may likewise be admitted to the 5th year of VWO.

As already mentioned in chapter 6.1, there are four types of secondary education: VMBO, HAVO, VWO and practical training.  Most secondary school teaching take place in combined schools. For more information on the types of institutions see 6.1 Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education.


Geographical accessibility

The geographical accessibility is the same as in lower secondary education, so please see for more information 6.1 Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education.


Admission requirements and choice of school

The admission requirements are the same as in lower secondary education, please see 6.1 Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education.

It is possible to transfer from VMBO to another type of secondary education. This phenomenon is called ‘stapelaars’: pupils who get an certificate in secondary education first and then continue with another type of education (for example from VMBO to HAVO). Within the Dutch education system there are various routes. 8% from all the pupils choose to transfer to an upper school type.

For an overview of the development of ‘stapelen’ in Dutch secondary education, please click here (information only available in Dutch).  


Age levels and grouping of pupils/students

HAVO/VWO pupils have until the end of the 3rd year to choose one of four fixed subject combinations (profiles). They are then regrouped in accordance with the choices made.  See profile grouping 6.5. the organisation of time in the upper secondary education is the same as the lower education, please see 6.1 Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education.


Organisation of the school year

This is the same as in lower secondary education, please see 6.1 Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education.


Organisation of the school day and week

The participation council advises the competent authority of the school (school board) on the school timetable and any changes to it. The competent authority also determines when the school day starts and ends, and how long lessons last, with the approval of the parent and pupil representatives on the participation council.

Teaching hours in secondary education: statutory minimum norms (in real hours)
Norm hours in secondary education
Since 2015-2016 there is no prescribed advisory timetable, there is only a norm per field of study. Schools can decide themselves how these hours should be spread throughout the whole school phase. The norm of hours throughout the whole study is:

  • 3700 hours in VMBO
  • 4700 hours in HAVO
  • 5700 hours in VWO

Another compulsory aspect is that there are at least 189 days of education. The MR (representative board) at school must first approve the schedule of the days when there is no education. The length of the lessons can change roughly from 50-90 minutes.   

There is no prescribed timetable or advice table. There is no box for a prescribed minimum number of teaching hours. In the upper years of HAVO and VWO, the length of lessons and the length of the school day are also determined on the basis of study load. The study load is calculated on the basis of the time required by the average pupil to master a particular quantity of material, both at school and at home. This covers every element of the curriculum, including writing up projects, reading, using a resource center, excursions and homework.

For more information take a look at the Eurydice report ‘Compulsary education in Europe 2016/ 2017’  and the report 'Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education’.