Nominal study

This is the route to get to a diploma based on the minimum length of study, as determined by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This does not include any type of delay or fast tracking.

The nominal length of study in primary education is 8 years. To graduate from secondary education, vmbo, havo and vwo, it takes 4, 5 and 6 years respectively. A bachelor’s at the universities of applied science takes 4 years in theory, a bachelor’s at university 3 years. The nominal length of study for a master’s is 1.6 years, and this is the average of the various master’s programmes.

Spending on a hbo bachelor’s degree via the nominal route consists of yearly spending for 8 years of primary education + 5 years of havo + 4 years of applied university (total 17 years).
Spending on a university bachelor’s degree via the nominal route consists of yearly spending for 8 years of primary education + 6 years of vwo + 3 years of university (total 17 years).
Spending on a university master’s degree via the nominal route consists of yearly spending for 8 years of primary education + 6 years of vwo + 4.6 years of university (total 18.6 years).

We do not take mbo (senior secondary vocational education) into account in our calculations because there are so many different types of study programmes on offer that are so varied in the time they take to complete that it makes little sense to apply the concept of nominal length of study to them.

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