Associate degree in the Netherlands

14th December 2015

Tag list

Location / Country / Region

The Netherlands


After the start of the Bologna Process in Europe there was no official position for Short Cycle Higher Education any more. In 2000 Leido took the initiative for a re-introduction of this kind of qualification in the Netherlands. This has been done by setting up a network with experts and people interested in this issue – supporting Leido in all kind of ways. The result was that in 2006 the Associate degree has been introduced, as SCHE, in the Dutch Higher Professional Area. Now in 2015 it is clear that this qualification will be crucial for a lot of students and employees with a VET degree, knowing that there is a need for higher skilled people, youngster and adults – and having in mind that a significant number of qualifications at lower levels will disappear in the near future . During the last 15 years is was possible to set up this process with the big support of the Ministry of Education. That is very remarkable, such a cooperation between an organisation like Leido (non-profit, private, non-subsidised) and a Ministry. It shows that the government in the Netherlands, and in specific the department for Higher Education, is willing to have a strategy with effect on the way LLL can be possible.

Actors Involved

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (department for Higher Education), Leido Academy

Target audiences

Students, LLL learners, adult learners, institutions (VET and HE), private education, labour marker


The impact on LLL, flexible learning pathways is immense, looking at the way SCHE will find a place in the system. In the strategy for HE and LLL the SCHE is one of the key issues.

Relevant links, websites, etc.

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