Netherlands (The)

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Structure of Higher Education System


The Netherlands higher education system is a binary system, composed of Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (WO which is more research-oriented and traditionally offered by universities) and Hoger Beroepsonderwijs (HBO - professional higher education, traditionally offered by hogescholen). WO programmes provide education and research in a wide range of disciplines: language and culture, behaviour and society, economics, law, medical and health sciences, natural sciences, engineering and agriculture. In addition, there is the Open Universiteit (OU - Open University) which offers fully recognized university degree programmes through distance education. Since September 2002, the higher education system in the Netherlands has been organized around a three-cycle degree system consisting of Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees. At the same time, the ECTS system (European Credit Transfer System) was implemented as a means to quantify all higher education...

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