What springs to mind when you hear “The Netherlands”? Tulips, bikes, windmills, cheese and colorful houses. Did I mention the “klompen”, the wooden clogs? We actually have one as a key-chain!
The Netherlands has a well-deserved reputation as a model democracy that embraces the principles of pluralism, social responsibility, tolerance and diligence. The country is known for its love of various types of educational experiments, which has made this country one of the most progressive and liberal in terms of education (and not only). The Netherlands was the first of all non-English speaking countries to introduce English education, which today attracts a great number of foreign students. Over 90% of Dutch people speak English at a good level. The affordable but qualitative education offers you the possibility to study over 2.000 programs in English at all levels of the educational system. It is noteworthy that the Dutch welcome not only foreign students but also teachers. Today, 40% of university professors are foreigners. Such diversity helps to know different languages and traditions; therefore, it is easier for graduates to get used to the international atmosphere of multinational companies.
TYPES OH HIGHER-EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO): An example of an innovative approach to education is problem-based learning, a teaching method invented in the Netherlands in the middle of the last century. At PBL, practice precedes theory: students are given work tasks and try to solve them. They themselves determine which books to read and which experts to attract. The only criterion for effectiveness is the problem solved. This approach teaches students independence and helps prepare specialists working for the result.
Universities of Research (WO): Studying at a University of Research means constant communication between students and teachers, so that graduates can work in a team, negotiate with colleagues and defend their point of view. The education is a fusion of academic traditions and a modern technological base that allows for advanced research and creates all the conditions for new discoveries. Even the scientific or research activity is not purely theoretical, but applied in nature and aimed at the practical solution of various problems in the chosen field.
The Netherlands has the highest percentage of English master’s programs in Europe, and Dutch universities have been repeatedly recognized as the best in their fields. The master usually lasts 1-2 years, but it depends on the chosen field of study. To pursue a master’s degree at a research university, a student must complete a bachelor’s program at such a university. HBO graduates can enroll in a master’s degree at a research university, but most of the time they will have to take additional tests or take a pre-master’s degree. Universities of applied sciences also have master’s programs, but in a smaller number and often more expensive (because they are much more specialized).
Put your klompen on and get that Dutch education!