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Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher 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

Branches of Study

A new type of higher education was introduced in 2007. It lasts two years and confers its own statutory qualification: the Associate Degree (only available in Dutch). Associate degrees (AD) were introduced at the request of various sectors of the labour market. The course of study is a two-year degree programme within the HBO bachelor’s degree framework. In terms of level of education, the AD lies between MBO level 4 and an HBO bachelor’s degree and there is a strong focus on the labour market. Since September 2013 the Associate Degree is officially established by law. 

The Associate Degree is provided by an institution for higher education, and in some cases by an institution for higher education and an institution for vocational education together.
In general, associate degree programmes:

  • are part of HBO bachelor’s degree courses;
  • involve a study load of 120 ECTS credits;
  • lead to an independent labour market qualification in the form of an official degree (AD), as provided for under article 7 of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW);
  • entitle the holder to complete the HBO bachelor’s degree immediately or at a later date. Students doing an associate degree programme are entitled to financial support if they meet the standard eligibility requirements.

In the Netherlands there are over 150 Associate degree programs in areas such as economics, the Green sector, Technology and Healthcare. Usually the programmes are offered either full-time, dual and part-time. The focus is on courses for where there is a great demand from the labour market. The website Study 123 (only available in Dutch) shows which Associate degree programs exist and where they can be followed.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for an Associate degree are:

  • a diploma on at least level four of MBO (Vocational education and training) or a HAVO diploma.

Persons aged 21 years and older can sometimes be exempted from this requirements.

From 2014, also students for the Associate Degree programs must register themselves for the study of their choice before the first of May. Then they are entitled to a check of study in the program. Prospective students receive a study advice, so that they can properly assess whether the study suits them.

Curriculum

The government stipulates the framework within which institutions operate but the administration of each institution is ultimately responsible for developing courses and the curriculum within this framework. The choices made with regard to the syllabus and examinations are set out in the teaching and examination regulations (of each institution).

Teaching Methods

Higher education institutions that offer Associate degrees programs are free to determine the teaching methods. Students can be taught in different ways. For example, in lectures or workshops. Institutions may determine the form and content of the education provided.

Progression of Students

Progression of StudentsInstitutions in higher education enjoy a great amount of autonomy. Institutions can for example decide themselves in what way the progress of a student is measured. Students following an Associate degree program will receive a binding study advice (BSA) at the end of the first year of study. BSA is a decision from the an institution in higher education about the progress of a student in his or her study. Every students receives a BSA at the end of the first year of the study. When an institutions for higher education issues a negative study advice, the student has to stop the study. This may occur when a student lacks too many study points and when there have been no special circumstances.

Employability

An Associate degree program has a strong focus on the labour market. All Associate degree programs train students for specific professions, where businesses are asking for.  It is not always easy to assess the  employment opportunities precisely. It is therefore good to ask for more information about possibilities and opportunities at institutions for higher education.

Student Assessment

Institutions may choose themselves in what way they evaluate students. Each unit of study (e.g. module) often concludes with an interim examination (‘tentamen’) (summative) testing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills. Institutions determine the content and design of these examinations themselves. Institutions also have the possibility to let students write a paper or an oral exam at the end of a module. In most Associate Degree programs internships or projects that a students does within a company are part of the study.

Individual study results of students are often shown on the overview of a student’s study progress.

Certification

Students who have graduated in an Associate Degree program are given the title "Associate Degree (AD). This is based on the Act on quality in diversity (only available in Dutch). This title may be placed after the name of the graduate. After the completion of an Associate Degree the graduate can (possibly) move on to the next phase of the bachelor's degree (bachelor in higher professional education).

Organisational Variation

Most Associate Degree programs can be both followed fulltime, part-time as dual. A number of private Associate Degree programs can be followed at home: 'distance learning'. For example, this may at the ‘Leidse onderwijsintellingen (LOI)’ (only available in Dutch).