Your bookmarked countries have an update since your last login. View Bookmarks x

Netherlands Antilles

Overview

In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius - became special municipalities within The Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Curacao and Sint Maarten (the Dutch two-fifths of the island of Saint Martin) joined Aruba and the Netherlands as self-governing countries which are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

A brief summary of the former constituent countries of the Netherlands Antilles appears below. Those six paragraphs are followed by the description of the Netherlands Antilles as it existed until October 10, 2010.

  1. Aruba: Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990. Aruba remains a self-governing country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. For information on the education system of Aruba, see the Aruba profile.
  2. Bonaire: Bonaire became a special municipality within the Netherlands administrative structure in 2010. For credentials issued before 10/10/10, see overview of the former Netherlands Antilles, below. For credentials issued after 10/10110, see The Netherlands profile.
  3. Curacao: In 1954, Curacao and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions were reorganized as the Netherlands Antilles, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In referenda in 2005 and 2009, the citizens of Curacao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The change in status became effective in October 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. For credentials issued before 10/10/10, see overview of the former Netherlands Antilles, below. For credentials issued after 10/10/10, see The Netherlands profile.
  4. Saba: Saba became a special municipality within the Netherlands administrative structure in 2010. For credentials issued before 10/10/10, see overview of the former Netherlands Antilles, below. For credentials issued after 10/10/10, see The Netherlands profile.
  5. Saint Martin: To learn more about the French three-fifths of the island by the same name, which is shared with Dutch Sint Maarten, please visit the France profile.
  6. Sint Eustatius: Sint Eustatius became a special municipality within the Netherlands administrative structure in 2010. For credentials issued before 10/10/10, see, overview of the former Netherlands Antilles below. For credentials issued after 10/10/10, see the Netherlands profile.
  7. Sint Maarten: The Dutch two-fifths of the island of Saint Martin became a special municipality within the Netherlands administrative structure in 2010. For credentials issued before 10/10/10, see overview of the former Netherlands Antilles, below. For credentials issued after 10/10/10, see The Netherlands profile.

Although The Netherlands Antilles disolved on October 10, 2010, the educational system of its former constituent countries, described below, remains unchanged. Indeed, educational credentials will continue to be presented by citizens of the former constituent countries: Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten, and in the more distant past, Aruba. Universiteit van de Nederlandse Antillen (University of the Netherlands Antilles), in Curacao, is still open and will continue to serve the needs of students from throughout the Caribbean.

Until October 10, 2010, Nederlandse Antillen (The Netherlands Antilles) consisted of 5 islands in the Caribbean: Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten. Curaçao and Bonaire are part of the Windward Islands group (along with Aruba, they are also known as the ABC islands) and are located off the coast of Northwestern coast of Venezuela. Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten, which are part of the Leeward Islands group, are located east of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sint Maarten shares an island with the French overseas department Saint Martin. The Windward and Leeward island groups are separated by 500 miles of water. The population of the former Netherlands Antilles is 225,369 and the literacy rate is 96.7%. Dutch and Papamiento are both official languages, but Dutch is the language of instruction. Dutch is spoken by 7.3% of the population, while Papamiento (a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, English and Dutch) is spoken by 65% of the population. Papamiento was recently introduced as the language of instruction in kindergarten and primary school, and there is no expectation that this will change with the disolution of the Netherlands Antilles.

The Leeward and Windward Islands were discovered in the 15th century by Spanish explorers. The Dutch West India Company gained control of the islands in the 17th century and they then became a colony of the Netherlands. In 1954, the islands changed their status from a colony to a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Until 1986, Aruba was a part of the Netherland Antilles, but became a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Even though The Netherlands Antilles dissolved on October 10, 2010, the educational system of its former constituent countries remains unchanged and is described below and supplemented on EDGE by The Netherlands profile.

Education

Primary Education

Basisschool (Primary school) has 6 years beginning at age 6.

Secondary Education

Secondary school has three streams:

  1. General secondary school is 5 years, and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs/HAVO (Higher General Secondary Education Diploma). Pre-university secondary school is 6 years and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs/VWO (University Preparatory Education Diploma).
  2. Vocational secondary school is 4 years and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Voobereidend Secundair Beroepsonderwijs/VSBO (Vocational Secondary School Diploma).
  3. Professional secondary school (SBO) is 4 years following vocational secondary school. Each year represents one level. No diploma is awarded after the 1st and 2nd levels. After the 3rd level, students are awarded a Secundair Beroepsonderwijs/SBO Level 2 Certificate, and a Secundair Beroepsonderwijs/SBO Beroepsonderwijs Level 3 Certificate is awarded after the 4th year.

Post-Secondary Education

Post-secondary education is offered at academies providing professional/vocational education, and the Universiteit van de Nederlandse Antillen (University of the Netherlands Antilles) which is a public institution that was founded in 1970 as a law school and gained university status in 1979. Two private institutions, St. Martinus University and the Caribbean International University, both opened in 2002.

The Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) is required for admission to the University of the Netherlands Antilles. Bachelor’s degrees required 4 years of study through 2008. New 3-year bachelor’s degree programs were implemented in 2009. Master’s degrees are 2 years following a bachelor’s degree.

Teacher Training

Primary school teachers are trained at the Teacher Training College on Curaçao. The Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs (HAVO) or the Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) is required for admission. It is a 4-year program and students are awarded a Teacher Training Certificate upon completion.

Secondary school teachers must complete a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the Netherlands Antilles. The Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) is required for admission.


THE CONTRIBUTORS

BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION. JOIN OUR LISTSERV. Subscribe

Upcoming AACRAO Events

Crises as Catalysts for Transformation

Fall 2020 | virtual conference

Join us this fall for a virtual Strategic Enrollment Management Conference - Crises as Catalysts for Transformation: 2020’s Impact on Higher Education and Enrollment.

This three day, virtual conference will feature models for adapting to change, meeting challenges, and planning strategically post-pandemic.

Explore the SEM Conference
SEM_2020_1440x400 update

106th AACRAO Annual Meeting

March 28 - 31, 2021 | National Harbor, MD

AACRAO’s Annual Meeting is our largest convening of higher education professionals from around the world. Join more than 2,000 administrators in person or online as we work to address the issues facing today’s campuses, share goals and guidelines for meeting those challenges, and provide a forum for learning and sharing experiences.

Explore the Annual Meeting
240047_AACRAO_1440x400_LandingPg