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The basics
THE Netherlands: Career Prospects

Credential Recognition in the Netherlands

Learn all about Dutch Diploma descriptions and how they can help you study abroad

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Why is a Diploma useful?

Studying abroad is an enriching and life-changing experience, but is not without its administrative hiccups. Not only does each country have a unique education system, certain or specialist institutions within a country sometimes operate via a set of academic standards that are especially strict or specific.


For students interested in studying in the Netherlands or Dutch students seeking to study abroad, a Dutch diploma description can help define the value of your existing qualifications and level of education abroad. The value of a Dutch diploma is determined in the host country, where it is compared to the local educational system.


A diploma description can find a recognised equivalent to your qualification in a host country, outline the value of your existing qualification in relation to foreign standards and assess whether you’re eligible for admission into a programme or not.


What is a Diploma?

A diploma description is more than just a translation of your transcript: it outlines key information about your study programme and the specific nature of your qualification. It also explains the unique structure of the Dutch education system and includes a Nuffic expert’s opinion as to which diploma in the host country is the most comparable to yours.


When you apply to study in Holland, you need to prove to the host institution that your current qualification meets the criteria of their programme. For students in a specific or specialised field of study, a diploma description can break down their specific skills and areas of knowledge, identify whether they are relatable to their prospective programme and then successfully covey this information to a host.


For those already holding qualifications given by a Dutch institution, a diploma description can work to explain the particulars and value of a study programme pursued in the Netherlands. It can provide prospective employers, a government agency or a host education institution insight into your skills and qualifications and be the push that proves you meet their admission criteria. 


An additional NCP declaration may also be additionally useful for Dutch students intending to practice a profession in another EU member state. This declaration confirms that the profession is regulated in the Netherlands and/or the potential host state.


Who provides this?

This service is provided by Nuffic, the Dutch National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) for international cooperation in higher education. Nuffic provides diploma descriptions for qualifications in general secondary education, senior secondary vocational education and training and higher education.


Nuffic will compare your current educational qualifications to the Dutch system to see if you meet specific admission requirements. If your diploma has no direct Dutch equivalent, a comparable level is outlined, taking into account unique courses or modules you may have taken, your study load and the academic level of your courses to date. Evaluations of the most common qualifications by country are listed on the Nuffic website. Nuffic might similarly suggest an alternate programme better suited to the candidate’s needs or a course of study more beneficial to their goals in the long term.


What else?

EU citizens looking to study abroad may also get a Europass: five documents that describe your skills and qualifications in a way that is easy to understand for other institutions across Europe.



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