Studying in the Netherlands

The Netherlands, or Holland, is ‘the gateway to Europe’. While it is a small country, it has a strong position globally and most Dutch people speak English as well as other languages. Holland is a popular destination. From all over the world students come to Holland to enjoy its multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society, open culture and education.

Driestar Christian University is located in Gouda, a typically Dutch town located between Rotterdam and Utrecht. Gouda is a small provincial city with about 73,000 inhabitants, famous for its cheese, its candles and its “syrup” wafers.
The city, which received town rights in 1272, has a rich history and many beautiful buildings, the most celebrated of which are the city hall and Sint John's church, with its stained glass windows depicting biblical and national history. Not surprisingly, Gouda buzzes with tourists from spring to autumn every year.

Driestar is Gouda’s only university. Students in Gouda have ample choice of things to do together: eating, studying, practising sports, shopping, talking the hours away.

Because we are a university with a Reformed identity, our students don't come from the immediate vicinity only, but also from other parts of the country. Students who live near Gouda mostly stay with their parents, and students who live further away find rooms in student-houses or in student accommodation.

Study in Holland in 100 seconds

Study in Holland in 100 seconds

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Study in NL

Visit the 'Study in NL' website

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Code of Conduct

Driestar Christian University signed the Code of Conduct. This means that we agree to the European rules concerning exchanges of students and teachers.

Read more about the Code of Conduct

The Dutch educational system

The Dutch educational system consists of mandatory primary and secondary education. 

Children are allowed to begin school at the age of four but are not legally required to do so until the age of five. Primary education lasts eight years (of which seven are compulsory), in the last year of which pupils are advised as to the type of secondary education they should pursue.

Secondary education, which begins at the age of 12 and is compulsory until the age of 16, is offered in several types at several levels.

In Holland, we have two main types of higher education institutions. The universities, which are more oriented towards research in an academic setting, and Universities of Applied Sciences, which are more practically-oriented, preparing students directly for specific careers.

Driestar Christian University, for Teacher Education, belongs to the second type of university (university of applied sciences). We offer bachelor degree courses in Teacher Education and several master courses. Besides our programmes we also offer courses for international students (International class, Master Learning and Innovation and short coures). For more information, please visit this page of our website. 

We are a Christian university. Our starting point is the Bible. We expect respect from all our students for everybody. Our university is small-scale. So, personal attention is one of our strong suits.


VMBO programmes (four years) combine general and vocational education, after which pupils can continue in senior secondary vocational education and training (MBO) lasting one to four years.
The two programmes of general education that grant admission to higher education are HAVO (five years) and VWO (six years).

Pupils are enrolled according to their ability. The last two years of HAVO and the last three years of VWO are referred to as the tweede fase (literally, second phase), or upper secondary education. During these years, pupils focus on one of four subject clusters (profielen), each of which emphasizes a certain field of study, in addition to satisfying general education requirements. Each cluster is designed to prepare pupils for programmes of study at the tertiary level. A pupil enrolled in VWO or HAVO can choose from the following subject clusters:
  1. Science and Technology (Natuur en Techniek)
  2. Science and Health (Natuur en Gezondheid)
  3. Economics and Society (Economie en Maatschappij)
  4. Culture and Society (Cultuur en Maatschappij)
Only the six-year VWO diploma grants access to the bachelor programmes offered by research universities; the HAVO diploma and the highest level of MBO grant access to the bachelor programmes offered by universities of applied sciences.

Senior Secondary Vocational Education and Training (MBO)

Senior secondary vocational education and training (MBO, secundair beroepsonderwijs) is offered in the areas of economics, technology, health, personal care, welfare and agriculture. MBO programmes vary in length from one to four years as well as in level (1 to 4). Graduates of VMBO programmes are eligible for admission to MBO, and completion of MBO programmes at level 4 qualifies pupils for access to HBO (University of Applied Sciences).


Studying as part of Erasmus+

Are you a student at a university that has a bilateral agreement with Driestar Christian University for teacher education? Then you will qualify for an Erasmus+ scholarship and can take part in our Erasmus+ programme.

Together, we will set up a study programme (in combination with the international programmes mentioned above, or otherwise) for the period during which you would like to study here.

Read more information about scholarships

Application and registration

Are you interested and would you like to apply to take part in a programme or course at our university? Have a look at the application forms under the different programmes on this website.

More information

Click here for more (practical) information