HBO colleges, known as universities of applied science outside the Netherlands, should be allowed to award their own degree titles, says education minister Ronald Plasterk.
At the moment, hbo college graduates are given an hbo bachelors degree, but universities made the switch to the BA and MA system in 2002. The Netherlands has 13 universities and some 65 hbo colleges.
Plasterk says it is of growing importance that hbo graduates have an internationally-recognised diploma. Some 20% of Dutch students and 60% of foreign students in the Netherlands go to an hbo college.
‘They want an internationally recognised title,’ Plasterk said in his letter to MPs. ‘But at the same time, it is important that there is a clear division between vocational and academic further education.’
The minister suggests that hbo graduates be awarded either a Bachelor of Applied Art (BAA) or a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) to distinguish their qualifications from the more academic university degrees.
And he has set up a committee to check if the new titles will be accepted internationally.
The acronym BASc is already used internationally to mean a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences as well as a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.
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