DUTCH EDUCATION SYSTEM

The atmosphere in a Dutch classroom is quite informal  and your  lecturers  are  easy to  talk to. In fact, at HAN you’re seen as a partner in the learning process.  Class sizes are small and your  lecturers  encourage you to actively participate in class.


informal style of education

The Dutch education style is quite informal. Lecturers are often addressed by their first names. As a student, you’re expected to actively participate and interact in class. To ask questions. To give your own opinion. To be creative. And to discover things for yourself.  

This approach might be quite different from the education style in your home country. So it might take a bit of getting used to. Our lecturers are aware of this. They do their very best to help you settle in and get used to the Dutch way of learning. 

Universities and universities of applied sciences

The Netherlands has 2 main types of higher education institutions: research universities and universities of applied sciences.  So  what’s the difference?  

Research universities focus solely on independent, research-oriented study in an academic or professional setting. Universities of applied sciences, on the other hand, offer their students programs that focus on a specific profession. Programs in the area of applied arts or applied sciences. Universities of applied sciences also carry out research, but it’s always practice-based. And it’s directly integrated into the study programs. 

Education at HAN

At HAN we know what’s going on in the professional field. That’s because we have close contact with companies and research institutes in the Netherlands and  abroad.  HAN  also has its own research centers. They  perform research for companies and organizations in the region.  Lecturers  and students participate in the research activities at these centers.   

At HAN you don’t just learn the ins and outs of your profession. You also develop general professional skills, like presenting, report writing and research skills. Skills that are essential in any workplace. Training for a profession also means thinking about your role as a professional. How can you contribute to society through your profession? How can you make a difference? And how can you practice your profession in a responsible way?   

At HAN you get the time and space to work on your personal development.  You discover important things about yourself, like: What are my aims in life? What do I find important in a career? How can I get the most out of myself?  Studying at HAN means growing:  developing into a confident, independent professional and a responsible, global citizen. 

Study Environment

At HAN, we ensure that the study environment perfectly suits your personal and professional development. So our classrooms are small, with 20-30 students in each class. That means you get plenty of personal attention. What’s more, the interactive and student-centred style gives you both the guidance and freedom to develop professionally.  

HAN also offers student coaching throughout all years of study. The study coach is also the first point of contact when you have questions about your study program or personal matters.   

HAN is proud to have a teaching staff with successful international careers. To stimulate practical development, we offer work placements in the Netherlands and abroad. And we offer practice-based assignments as part of the curriculum. This gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience in your chosen field. Experience that strengthens your CV and helps you get started or develop further in your chosen career.  

Credits and grading

At HAN we use the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, or ECTS. It’s the standard credit system used in higher education across Europe. How does it work? One credit = 28 hours of study. Think of contact hours. Time spent working on assignments. Preparing for exams.

One semester = 30 credits = 840 hours of study. To earn credits, you need to pass your exams. What counts as a pass? A grade of at least 5.5.

Grading at HAN

According to the Dutch grading system, grades are awarded from 1 to 10. To pass you need a 6 or higher. How many students actually get a 6? And how many get a 10? Check out the table below. It shows the number of students at HAN who received each passing grade in a period of 2 years. The numbers are also given as percentages.

  All degrees   Bachelor   Master   Associate  
Grade No. of students % No. of students % No. of students % No. of students %
6 51,070 27.2 48,706 27.2 1,085 21.7 1,279 29.7
7 81,027 43.2 77,648 43.6 1,864 37.4 1,515 35.2
8 43,694 23.3 41,100 23.1 1,526 30.6 1,068 24.8
9 10,595 5.7 9,726 5.5 474 9.5 395 9.3
10 1,070 0.6 987 0.6 39 0.8 44 1.0
  187,456 100 178,167 100 4,988 100 4,301 100

Source: HAN Diploma Supplement grading table 25 September 2019