The Netherlands is committed to choice in education.
- The OECD international rankings for school systems puts the Netherlands as one of the highest in performance annually.
- Compulsory education under Dutch law applies to children of all nationalities from 5 to 18 years who are residing in the Netherlands.
- Children are leerplichtig (under a learning obligation or leerplicht) at 5 years old for 12 years of full-time education, and one or two years part-time (until the attainment of a diploma).
- There are multiple types of schools: Public (openbare) schools, Private schools, Internationals schools, Private internationals schools, Special schools and Ipad schools.
- Dutch secondary education (voortgezet onderwijs) is distinquished in: VMBO, HAVO and VWO levels.
- Third-level education, as it is known in the Netherlands, is offered at a vocational level (HBO, a ‘university of applied sciences’ or hogeschool) and at an academic level (WO, at a universiteit).
- Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are available at both HBO and WO institutions, but only universities (WO) offer PhD programs. There are around 2,000 courses taught in English. You can see what’s available on Nuffic (Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education; www.nuffic.nl),