Hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs

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The havo or hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs (literally: "higher general continued education") is a stream in the secondary educational system of the Netherlands. It has five grades and is generally attended from age twelve to seventeen. A havo diploma provides access to the hbo-level (polytechnic) of tertiary education.

The first three years together are called the Basisvorming (literally, "basis formation"). All pupils follow the same subjects: languages, mathematics, history, arts and sciences. In the third year pupils must choose one of four profiles. A profile is a set of different subjects that will make up for the largest part of the pupil's timetable in the fourth and fifth year, that are together called the Tweede Fase (literally, "second phase"). A profile specializes the pupil in an area, and some hbo and wo studies therefore require a specific profile. Students must also choose one to three additional subjects. Furthermore, Dutch and English, as well as some minor subjects, are compulsory. In all profiles mathematics is compulsory, but the level of difficulty differs for each profile. Pupils still have some free space for electives, which is not taken up by compulsory and profile subjects; they can pick two subjects from other profiles. Sometimes pupils choose more than two subjects, which can result in multiple profiles. In 2006 one pupil graduated cum laude in all profiles[citation needed].

  • Cultuur en Maatschappij (literally, "culture and society") emphasizes on history, arts and foreign languages (French, German and less frequently Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Turkish and West Frisian). The mathematics classes focus on statistics and stochastics. This profile prepares for artistic and cultural training at the hbo.
  • Economie en Maatschappij (literally, "economy and society") emphasizes on social sciences, economy, and history. The mathematics classes focus on statistics and stochastics. This profile prepares for social science and economy training at the hbo.
  • Natuur en Gezondheid (literally, "nature and health") emphasizes on biology and natural sciences. The mathematics classes focus on algebra and geometry. Since 2007 pupils who choose the Nature and Health profile are free to choose Mathematics-A (Wiskunde A), which focus on statistics. This profile is necessary to attend medical training at the hbo.
  • Natuur en Techniek (literally, "nature and technology") emphasizes on natural sciences. The mathematics classes focus on algebra and geometry. This profile is necessary to attend technological and natural science training at the hbo.

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