Wo bachelors require more time than hbo bachelors

In the Netherlands, students can obtain a bachelor’s degree in higher vocational education (hbo) and university (wo). Hbo students have one year extra to obtain their bachelor’s degree than university students. Students can only receive a study grant, if they finish their studies within the standard time frame, but many students require more time. Hbo students to a much lesser degree than university students exceed the regular period.

Hbo students study 4 months longer, wo students 18 months

In 2007/’08, 50 thousand full-time students obtained their bachelor’s degree in hbo. The hbo bachelor course takes 4 years. On average, hbo students required 4 months extra to graduate.

In university education (wo), 19 thousand full-time vwo (secondary education at the pre-university level) graduates obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2007/’08. These courses take 3 years. On average, it took university students more than 1.5 years longer to obtain their bachelor’s degree. Male wo bachelors required no less than 5 years and 1 month to obtain their bachelor’s degree.

Average study duration period of graduated full-time bachelors, 2007/’08*

Average study duration period of graduated full-time bachelors, 2007/’08*

On average, wo bachelors require 3 months more than hbo students to obtain their bachelor’s degree, but the courses are not entirely identical, neither is the preliminary education level. Generally, the education programme presented at hbo level is more structured than is the case at universities and hbo students also relatively more often live at home with their parents than university students. 

Engineering, industrial sciences and architecture students study longer

The duration period for the bachelor’s degree differs per subject. The most substantial differences between hbo and wo studies is in engineering, industrial sciences and architecture. Wo students on average needed 5 years and 4 months to graduate, whereas hbo students required only 4 years and 2 months.

The longest study duration period in hbo is for linguistics, history and arts and social sciences and public administration. The fastest graduates in wo are found in education-related courses and health care and welfare.

Average study duration period of full-time bachelors, 2007/'08*

Average study duration period of full-time bachelors, 2007/'08*

Sabine Gans