In the Dutch education system one ought to have 12 years of education, starting at the primary school from the age of 4. After 8 years of primary education the children will do a CITO-test that determines to which level of secondary education they can attend.
The Dutch secondary education consists of three levels, respectively: VMBO, HAVO and VWO. VMBO is a 4 year program that has a more practical focus than the remaining levels and it is subdivided into four groups: BBL, GL, KBL and TL. A VMBO degree gives access to the subsequent vocational programs (MBO), which are 2 to 4 years depending on the chosen courses.
The intermediate level of the secondary education is the HAVO program of 5 years. After completion and obtaining the HAVO degree, one can choose to do either a higher vocational program (HBO) of 4 years or a MBO. However, recently the Dutch government has declared a HBO degree to be equivalent to a university’s bachelor degree and therefore it is more attractive to HAVO graduates to pursue a program in HBO.
Finally, the highest level in the Dutch secondary education is VWO. After completion of this program of 6 years, one has access to all universities in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, some popular courses, such as medicine and psychology, do have a minimum grade as entry requirement and therefore students willing to pursue a career in those fields will have to face a strong competition.
In the Chinese education system one has 9 years of compulsory education, starting at the primary school from an age of 6. However, before the primary school many Chinese children will go to a preschool to develop their linguistic skills. After 6 years of primary school, the children will do a national test that ultimately determines to which secondary school they can attend.
In china there are no distinctive levels in the secondary school system, but reputation...