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Features of studying in the Netherlands compared to Russia
Features of studying in the Netherlands compared to Russia
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Features of studying in the Netherlands compared to Russia

In the universities of Holland distributed problem-oriented learning approach is Assignment-based learning. In fact, studies in Dutch universities is in the nature of successive projects, the management of which is the main work of the student.

This approach to learning is quite unusual for students from Russia and CIS countries, educated in the traditional educational systems, and causes difficulties at the initial stage of learning in Dutch universities. Comparison of two approaches to learning — Dutch and Russian — will help to better understand the differences.

How are the classes at the universities in the Netherlands and Russia

Training in Russia and the CIS based on the classic, traditional approach, in Holland — to a more modern, problem-oriented approach that takes into account the psychology of the process of obtaining and acquiring knowledge. Advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. Understand the difference between them.

Going to the training in Russia

Traditional training, the elements of which are widely distributed not only in Russia and the CIS, but also in many countries of Eastern Europe, mainly concentrating on classroom work and built on a system of lectures and seminars. Its advantage is the breadth of coverage of material, creating a solid theoretical base, minus for vocational education — the separation of theory from practical aspects.

In the traditional approach to teaching students are encouraged to listen to and memorize in a short time a huge amount of theoretical information and practice to pass short-lived once then, towards the end of the program. The usual Russian lectures to students almost do not imply feedback in the form of questions and discussions. At the seminars the opportunity to speak and ask questions of the students more, but this almost never involves cooperation with other students, group work on the same project.

Going to the training in the Netherlands

In Dutch universities, the situation is exactly the opposite way. In order to obtain the knowledge, skills and a diploma from Dutch University, the student must show maximum activity: to build partnerships with other students and the instructor, to articulate their goals and learning objectives to develop in conjunction with the tutor an algorithm to solve them.

At universities of applied Sciences, the Netherlands students are almost not dealing with the theory in its pure form. Of course, they learn all the necessary theory, but during training they acquire the valuable skills necessary for the modern professional, is the ability to formulate goals, tasks and ways of their solution, that is, to work on a project, to do presentations and speak in front of an audience to form their own point of view and logically to justify it, etc.

Even in the first year of undergraduate, when studying the General subjects, the Dutch students almost do not have to ask ourselves why we need such General knowledge. Learning objectives should be formulated in such a way that the students were as clear, as they will be able to apply the obtained information in the future.

How to choose a program at the University of applied Sciences, the Netherlands

Thus, the advantage of the Dutch approach to vocational training is a continuous development of skills, development of independence and ability to work in a team; the downside is a fairly narrow specialization, a smaller amount of fundamental knowledge.

Project work in the universities of Holland and Russia

In Russian universities students rarely work in groups and almost never lead projects - and it is on this basis constructed to obtain professional skills. Largely for this reason, the professional skills of the graduates get the first working location, which leads to overload and stress situations, reduces effectiveness and slows career growth. In addition to learning, understanding and memorization of the material is much more effective if before the student even before attending classroom training and tasks selected point of focus.

Work of students of Dutch universities is in the nature of successive joint projects, research, creative, informational and applied. Each of these projects has a clear purpose, goals and structure.

  • Familiarity with any subject begins with work on the information project.
  • Direct study of the problem takes place in the course of the research project.
  • Search various non-standard ways of solving various tasks, achieve particular purposes is carried out in the course of a creative project.
  • Development of specific professional skills occurs in the course of working on applied projects.

As an example, a standard structure of the setup class, which is familiar with the subject

  • The problem is formulated (plans to study).
  • Its relevance is clear to the student (what to learn).
  • A list of sources.
  • Identified ways and methods of learning information (the topic will be studied).
  • The main results of the study of the problem (presentation of the results in the group).

It is clear that for this lesson, the student should prepare in advance. It turns out, before you start a new thread in the classroom with the teacher, the student has to do a lot of independent work. In the classroom the teacher will not be lecturing, but will only give guidance to the discussion, the direction and the scope of discussion, during which students will make their presentations and exchange opinions.

So the installation becomes a kind of class setting for the active receive and assimilate knowledge in the next stage of immersion in the subject.

Project work makes learning an active and largely independent formulation of learning tasks, replaces receipt of the data search information, answers and solutions under the guidance of a teacher.

Number of training hours and features schedules of universities in the Netherlands and Russia

In Russia the academic load is measured in academic hours in Europe - credit hours ECTS, each of which represents at least 28 hours of educational activities — lectures, seminars, examinations, laboratory, self-study, group work. To receive a bachelor's degree student of applied higher education the Netherlands needs to gain about 30 credit hours in a semester and 240 credits for all time of training.

The number of hours of training in the typical schedule of a student of the University of applied Sciences looks very small in comparison with Russian universities - about 20 contact hours (contact hours) per week, of which classroom - even less. The rest of the time the student engaged in group and independent work on search and study of the material.

How to assess academic performance in the universities of Holland and Russia

In Russia, the knowledge test is held twice a year, to the examination session, the students are thoroughly prepared mostly memorizing large volumes of information.

Holland adopted a system of continuous assessment. Training takes place in blocks within one or two months a student studying several subjects at once, without additional training, exams and then proceeds to the next block.

The approach to learning adopted in the Netherlands, helps the student to recognize that he is the protagonist, involved in their own learning and professional growth. A system of continuous assessment is useful not only to teachers and University to have something to put in the diploma, but first of all to the student, he sees his progress and shortcomings, and knows they need to improve.

What is important to know prospective students about the Netherlands

Practice and internships in the universities of Holland and Russia

One or two semesters of practice at the senior courses rarely allow you to work out all the previously obtained knowledge. In addition, relevant to practice as the students and their supervisors is often quite formal. This entails the problem of translation of theory into practice, which is often faced by graduates of Russian universities for the first job, because knowledge that is not applied immediately forgotten.

In Holland internship in a real company and a thesis project representing the solution of specific problems and the implementation of these decisions is obligatory and very important part of the educational program. These internships not only interesting, but also very motivated students.


A professional differs from theorist to the fact that ready to apply their knowledge of raising Dutch universities and subsequently recruit a European company. In the process of learning at the University of applied Sciences, the Netherlands, the student acquires not only the knowledge, but also manages to efficiently practice the skills that are required in his future profession.