Studying in the Netherlands
Dutch universities offer a wide range of programmes, with a good variety of subjects and specialisations. In the 2012-2013 academic year students could choose from 424 Bachelor's courses and 799 Master's programmes. The majority of those Master's (almost 70%) are in English. In order to compare courses internationally, a uniform system of credits is used: the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). In the Netherlands 1 ECTS is equal to 28 hours of work for a student. 60 ECTS therefore equates to an academic year of 42 weeks.
The uniform credit system makes exchange between European students easier. At least 30,000 students are studying at Dutch universities. This is about 12% of the entire student population in the Netherlands. Roughly half of this group is following a Bachelor's programme, the other half a Master's.
Assessment of academic performance
In the Netherlands, examinations, essays and other academic performance are generally assessed with a grade between 1 and 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 the best. The lowest grade for a score of satisfactory is a 6. Grades 1 to 3 are hardly ever used, and 9s and 10s are also (extremely) rare. The Netherlands thus has an absolute assessment, unlike many other countries, e.g. the United States, where the performances of students are assessed against those of other students.
Study in Holland http://www.studyinholland.nl/