Mbo diplomas relatively most expensive

The longer an educational programme takes to complete, the more a diploma will cost. However, the price of a diploma correlates a lot more with the previous education routes of students than the total duration of the programme. This makes a diploma at the level of the apprenticeship-based track of senior secondary vocational education (mbo-bbl) relatively more costly than other diplomas.

The longer the programme, the higher the costs

The most expensive diploma is the university master’s degree. In 2007 this cost nearly 142 thousand euro. The price of a diploma depends on the annual costs of the education route students follow and the number of years they follow it before they receive the diploma. For a master’s degree, for example, a student will have been in education for around 21 years, while the annual costs of their education come to 6.7 thousand euro.

Average price and study duration per diploma, 2007

Average price and study duration per diploma, 2007

Bbl diploma costs relatively more than master’s diploma

Students receiving a diploma for completing the apprenticeship-based track (bbl) of senior secondary vocational education (mbo) will have been in education for a shorter period than those receiving a master’s degree. Students took an average 16 years to complete bbl in 2007. The price of this diploma is on average 129 thousand euro, i.e. 8.3 thousand euro per year of education. This is higher than the annual costs of a master’s degree.

The price difference is explained by the previous education routes. For the bbl diploma, it is compulsory to complete a practical component, while students receiving a master’s degree usually enter university after much cheaper pre-university education (vwo).

Route makes most difference for bbl

The fact that not all students follow the same route to their bbl diploma plays a part in its high price. Mbo training can be entered directly after pre-vocational education (vmbo), but also after special needs primary education and vmbo for children with learning difficulties. These circuitous paths push up the price of the average route to the bbl diploma by 17 thousand euro compared with the standard route. The price difference between the average route and the standard route is largest for the bbl diploma.

The standard - or direct - route through education is cheaper than the average route with all the circuitous options. The deviating alternatives all take more time and often involve all sorts of special forms of education which cost more. However, they do eventually result in higher pass rates.  

Prices of diplomas by route, 2007

Prices of diplomas by route, 2007

Hugo Elbers