Have you finished the NT2-B1 programme and would you like to study in an institution of higher education? Then you should check out the Saxion Preparatory Year! The Preparatory Year will help you prepare yourself to study in the Dutch higher education system. You will also increase your chances of successfully completing your studies.

The Preparatory Year is offered to participants who are also taking the NT2 B2-course at Saxion.  (Note:  NT2 refers to the State Exam for Dutch as a Second Language). The following additional entry requirements apply:

  • Your Dutch language level is at a B1 level or higher.
  • You have previously graduated from a degree programme in your country of origin that is, at a minimum, equal to the Dutch high school level: havo or mbo 4. 
  • Your English language level is at an A2 level or higher.
  • You possess good computer skills.
  • You are planning to study at a degree programme in higher education in the Netherlands.

The first entrance exams for the Preparatory Year 2022-2023 will take on May 19th 2022. You will take an English language exam and a study skills test.  If you still need to demonstrate that your Dutch is at a B1 or B2 level, you will also take a Dutch language level exam. If you pass these initial entrance exams, then you will receive an invitation for a personal intake interview. During this meeting, we will discuss your motivation for studying and check your general entry requirements. 

The Preparatory Year starts on 29 August 2022 and lasts one school year, 40 school weeks in total. The study load for the entire programme is approximately 40 hours per week. 

The programme consists of various different modules.  In the core modules ‘Loopbaanoriëntatie’ (Career Orientation) and 'Studie en Beroep NL' (Study and Career in the Netherlands) you will be able to make an informed choice regarding a Dutch degree programme (hbo, wo or mbo).  After that, you will focus specifically on what you need to prepare yourself to study in Dutch higher education.  Finally, you will focus more narrowly on the chosen career sector in the Netherlands.

Additionally, you will take one or two subjects at the VAVO-Lyceum such as mathematics, physics, economics, chemistry, or biology, in preparation for your study. (Note: VAVO Lyceum is a school for extended general adult education). You will take the final exams at the VAVO at either a havo or vwo level in these subjects and, if you pass them, will receive a modular certificate.

Programme Details

  • If there are a sufficient number of participants, you can participate in the Preparatory Year in Deventer or Enschede.
  • Duing the Preparatory Year, you will be taking three courses at the same time:
  1. Dutch as a second language (B2) Anyone who does not have a B2 Dutch language level, yet, will be required to take the B2 course at Saxion. Click here for more information.
  2. Preparatory Year subjects: At Saxion, you will take the subjects that relate to study skills and preparation for your degree programme.
  3. VAVO subjects: At the VAVO-Lyceum, you will take subjects that are related to your study profile for your future degree programme.

Important to know

As of 1-1-2022 the civic law will change. New legislation might affect the content and duration of the Schakeljaar (name under the new law: Onderwijsroute). The website will be updated as soon as more information is available. You can however, already apply for the Schakeljaar or Onderwijsroute. Do you have questions beforehand, you can always send an email to talencentrum.ssc@saxion.nl or call us at 088 - 019 3669.



Required (R) or Elective (E)


Saxion NT2

Dutch as a second language - B2

only required for participants who do not yet have a Dutch B2 language level

3 mornings or afternoons per week for two terms

Saxion Preparatory Year

Study and Career NL


2 class hours per week for 4 terms

Saxion Preparatory Year

Career Orientation


Average 1 hour a week for 4 terms

Saxion Preparatory Year

Speech Therapy


2 class hours per week for 3 terms

Saxion Preparatory Year

English A2-B2


2 class hours per week for 2 or 4 terms


VAVO subjects:

*mathematics A * mathematics B * physics * biology * chemistry * economics * management and organisation * civics * geography * history


dependent on the study requirements

3 class hours per subject per week for 4 terms

Saxion Preparatory Year

NT2 B2+


4 class hours per week for 2 terms

Saxion Preparatory Year

PR and information



Saxion Preparatory Year, VAVO and NT2



Approximately 15 hours per week

With the certificate from the Preparatory Year together with your NT2-B2 (Staatsexamen NT2 II), as well as the modular certificates for your subjects, you will be eligible for bachelor degree programmes taught in Dutch at Saxion (provided you have chosen the correct electives and have passed with sufficient marks).

  • Preparatory Year fee, including VAVO subjects, excluding B2 course.  € 3.150
  • B2 course fee € 2.520 excluding course materials
  • You can pay for these courses with a DUO loan
  • Course materials for VAVO subjects: depends on the subjects you choose, these are not covered by a DUO loan.

Information session

On March 31st 2022, there is an information session in Enschede from 13:00-15:30.  In Deventer, the information session will be held on April 1st 2020 from 13:00-15:30.  During this meeting, you will get more information about the (design of the) programme Instructors and (former) course participants will be there, too. The UAF will provide information about how they can support refugee students during the Preparatory Year and their studies. You can register for one of the information sessions by sending an email talencentrumondersteuning.ssc@saxion.nl. Don’t forget to let us know which location you wish to attend

  • Deventer
  • Enschede

Interested? You can apply here! The deadline is May 1st 2022.

Apply here!