Dutch education system
Education is compulsory in the Netherlands between the ages of 5 and 16.
The Dutch education system consists of 8 years of primary education, 4, 5 or 6 years of secondary education (depending on the type of school) and 2 to 6 years of higher education (depending on the type of education and the specialisation). Both public and private institutions exist at all levels of the education system; the private institutions are mostly based on religious or ideological principles.
Primary and secondary education
Primary education is intended for children in the age group 4 to 12 and is compulsory for children from the age of 5. At the age of 12 children go to one of the following types of secondary education:
- Preparatory vocational secondary education (vmbo) - 4 years in duration
- Senior general secondary education (havo) - 5 years in duration
- University preparatory education (vwo) - 6 years in duration