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A Comparison of the American and Dutch Tertiary Education Systems

A Comparison of the American and Dutch Tertiary Education Systems

A comparison of the American and Dutch Tertiary Education Systems

The systems of American and Dutch tertiary education share numerous parallels. Access to a university requires in America, a “High School” diploma and in the Netherlands, a “VWO” diploma, which prepared them for the expectations of the universities. However, in America it is sometimes required to take an entrance examination. Both educations consist of the Bachelor/Master system. This particular system has only been recently introduced in the Netherlands. With this introduction, the effort is made to give to the Dutch students a better position to operate on the international labour market. However, the differences between these two systems outweigh the similarities.
The Dutch tertiary education system consists of two elements; “Wetenschappenlijk Onderwijs (WO)” and “Hoger Beroeps Onderwijs (HBO)”. WO is offered by universities and is more research-orientated while the HBO system is more focussed on applying arts and sciences. In contrast, the American universities are expected to educated students for all kinds of professions and careers. An American University has more similarities with the Dutch “HBO”.
An other difference can be found in the quality of the education. In the Netherlands, the government assures this quality. A special department, “the Ministry of Education, Culture and sciences” is there to deals with education. The Dutch universities are frequently checked by school inspectors, to prevent the lost of the quality of education. On the other hand, in America, the federal government has no influence over the quality of the university. The quality of education differs in every State of America.
The most significant difference between the two is the financial organisation. In the Netherlands, the tuition fees are for all students the same, because everything is restricted by law. The government donates money to the universities; therefore the education can be of high...

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