At Amity International School Amsterdam, we work hard to set our students up for success so they can fulfill their unique potential.Principal NEVILLE KIRTON 

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From Diploma Programme to Higher Education

From Diploma Programme to Higher Education

As parents, we are constantly thinking about the future of our children. Especially in the Netherlands, the education system offers many opportunities for our children after they graduate from school. From prestigious universities to internship programs and entrepreneurship opportunities; there's something for every interest and career path.

Amity Amsterdam’s Senior School curriculum recognises the importance of preparing our students for these different pathways. We are making sure that they are equipped with the necessary life skills and knowledge to succeed. In this blog, we take a closer look at how the curriculum pathways at Amity Amsterdam prepare our students for their transition to Post-Secondary Education.

Types of Higher Education Pathways 

Higher education pathways in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are two main pathways for our students after they graduate from Senior School. The tertiary education is made up of hoger beroepsonderwijs – HBO (higher vocational education) and wetenschappelijk onderwijs – WO (scientific/academic education).

HBO combines both theoretical and practical knowledge via group work and internships and the duration is four years. Admission requires a diploma that is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is generally recognised as meeting this requirement for admission to HBO programs. So, our students who complete IBDP can definitely apply to HBO programs in the Netherlands, but they should carefully check the admission requirements for the specific programme that they are interested in as certain DP subjects might be required for the studies.

The WO education system aims to educate students for a profession in which they can apply scientific knowledge. The duration is three years and after that a university masters can be obtained. The admission requirement is to have a VWO diploma or students can apply after getting an HBO first-year certificate. Since the IB Diploma is recognised as equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma, IBDP students can apply to WO universities. However, there are some important considerations such as subject and grade requirements and additional documentation.

Please find further information on higher education in the Netherlands on the government’s website.

Pathways around the World

Around the globe within the higher education system, there are usually four main paths that students can take after graduating from the IB Diploma Programme: traditional universities and colleges, community colleges, online universities and colleges, and vocational and technical schools. They all offer distinct career pathways and opportunities. The choices our students make after graduating from Amity Amsterdam Senior School depend on their individual goals, dreams and circumstances. Our students should contact admissions officers of the universities that they are interested in for specific information about IB recognition and subject choices.

For further information and assistance on your options in the Netherlands and around the world, you can contact our Post-Secondary Counsellors.

How does Amity’s IB Diploma Programme prepare our students for higher education?

Understanding the different higher education pathways is crucial for DP1 and DP2 students because it helps them make informed decisions about the future.

Our Senior School places a strong emphasis on building foundational skills and knowledge that align with the requirements of higher education. Let’s explain how our students are getting ready for higher education by studying IB DP.


Academic demands and holistic education

In the Diploma Programme, our students are challenged to think critically. The study pattern in the DP prepares them for the rigorous academic demands of higher education and the curriculum offers a holistic approach as we support our students’ academic, emotional and social growth. By providing six core subjects across six different disciplines, such as language and literature, language acquisition, mathematics, sciences, humanities and arts, the students explore various fields of study and develop their interests. Additionally, the students have to complete three core components of IBDP, which are Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) lessons and CAS experiences, where they explore many areas to grow mentally, physically and spiritually.


What skills do the children learn?

Throughout the Diploma Programme, our students learn how to conduct research, analyse information and critically evaluate sources through their assignments, such as written essays and experiments. Students engage in deeper learning such as problem-solving transferring their understandings to new contexts, examining issues from multiple perspectives, predicting, creating, making connections and understanding complexity amongst others.

They write their Extended Essay, a research paper that consists of over 4,000 words, on a topic of their choice. It develops students’ research and writing skills, which are highly significant for the university. The weekly TOK courses encourage the students to think about ‘how we know what we know’. It also teaches students the ability to reflect and consider various perspectives. In addition,  by participating in CAS experiences, they develop skills that are necessary for life such as leadership, communication, organisation, teamwork and time management.

By the end of the DP, students will be prepared for their external IB examinations, having been supported to develop exam revision techniques, exam response strategies, self-management skills and approaches to support their well-being.  

Moreover, our students’ learning is underpinned by core values, such as respect, responsibility, gratitude and curiosity – that shape who they are as individuals. Their commitment to services and action for others and their understanding of global challenges such as sustainability, ensure they are well-balanced and prepared for life after school.


Global Citizens in the Diploma Programme

Above all, the IBDP, with its various learning pathways and opportunities provides a strong foundation for students regardless of the next step in their learning journey.

At Amity Amsterdam Senior School, we understand that each student is unique and may have different goals for their future. We recognise the importance of helping our students and parents, explore the potential options available to your children in future. To learn more about how we empower our DP students, prepare them for their life after Senior School and reach their full potential, visit our website and schedule a campus tour today.