The Netherlands, or Holland, is ‘the gateway to Europe’. While it is a small country, it has a strong position globally and most Dutch people speak English as well as other languages. Holland is a popular destination; from all over the world students come to Holland to enjoy the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society, the open culture and education.

Driestar Hogeschool is located in Gouda, a typically Dutch town located between Rotterdam and Utrecht. Gouda is a small provincial city with about 70.000 inhabitants, famous for its cheese, its candles and its “treacle” wafers. The city, which received town rights in 1272, has a rich history and has many beautiful buildings, the most celebrated of which are the city hall and Sint John's church, with its stained glass windows depicting biblical and national history. Not surprisingly, Gouda buzzes with tourists from spring till autumn every year.

Driestar is Gouda’s only university. Students in Gouda have ample choice of things to do together: eating, studying, practising sports, shopping, talking the hours away.

Because we are a university with a Reformed identity, our students don't come from the immediate vicinity only, but also from other the parts of the country. Students who live near Gouda mostly stay with their parents, and students who live further away find rooms in a student-houses or in the university boarding house. The boarding house can accommodate about 100 students.

Driestar Christian University signed the Code of Conduct .This means that we agree to the European rules concerning exchange of students and teachers.

For more information, download the Code of Conduct brochure.

Primary and secondary education

Children are allowed to begin school at the age of four, but are not legally required to do so until the age of five. Primary education lasts eight years (of which seven are compulsory), in the last year of which pupils are advised as to the type of secondary education they should pursue.

Secondary education, which begins at the age of 12 and is compulsory until the age of 16, is offered in several types at several levels.

VMBO programmes (four years) combine general and vocational education, after which pupils can continue in senior secondary vocational education and training (MBO) lasting one to four years.

The two programmes of general education that grant admission to higher education are HAVO (five years) and VWO (six years).

Pupils are enrolled according to their ability. The last two years of HAVO and the last three years of VWO are referred to as the tweede fase (literally, second phase), or upper secondary education. During these years, pupils focus on one of four subject clusters (profielen), each of which emphasizes a certain field of study in addition to satisfying general education requirements. Each cluster is designed to prepare pupils for programmes of study at the tertiary level. A pupil enrolled in VWO or HAVO can choose from the following subject clusters:

  1. Science and Technology (Natuur en Techniek)
  2. Science and Health (Natuur en Gezondheid)
  3. Economics and Society (Economie en Maatschappij)
  4. Culture and Society (Cultuur en Maatschappij)

Only the six year VWO diploma grants access to the bachelor programmes offered by research universities; the HAVO diploma and the highest level ofMBO grant access to the bachelor programmes offered by universities of applied sciences

Senior Secondary Vocational Education and Training (MBO)
Senior secondary vocational education and training (MBO, secundair beroepsonderwijs) is offered in the areas of economics, technology, health, personal care, welfare and agriculture. MBO programmes vary in length from one to four years as well as in level (1 to 4). Graduates of VMBO programmes are eligible for admission to MBO, and completion of MBO programmes at level 4 qualifies pupils for access to HBO.

Higher education

In Holland we have two main types of higher educations institutions. The universities, which more oriented on research in an academic setting, and Universities of Applied Sciences, which are more practically oriented, preparing students directly for specific careers.

Driestar Hogeschool, University for Teacher Education, belongs to the second type of university. We offer bachelor degree course in Teacher Education. Also we offer three Masters in Education programmes: Learning & Innovation, Special Educational Needs and Instructional Leadership .

We are a Christian university, our starting point is the Bible. For all our students we aspect respect  for everybody. Our university is small-scale. So lots of personal attention will be there.