What are the most popular majors?
During the 2021/’22 academic year, 1.3 million Dutch students and foreign students were enrolled at senior secondary vocational education (MBO), higher vocational education (HBO) or at a university in the Netherlands. MBO students formed the largest group of students at 38 percent. University students formed the smallest group of students at 26 percent. The most popular disciplines include Law and administration and Health care and welfare.
Traditionally, the term students referred to those enrolled in higher vocational education (HBO) and university education (WO, university). As of the 2020/’21 academic year, participants in senior secondary vocational education (MBO) are also referred to as students. The figures used for the 2021/’22 academic year are provisional.
Law and administration the most popular discipline
The most popular disciplines include Law, administration, trade and business services. Of all students in the 2021/’22 academic year, 22 percent were following a study programme in these disciplines. Particularly, HBO students and students at university opted for a major in any of these disciplines. These were followed by study programmes in the area of Health and welfare, at 20 percent. These are particularly popular among MBO and HBO students. Technology, industrial design and construction majors are particularly popular at MBO level, ranking third at 13 percent.
|Law, administration, trade, business services||77806||128546||96508|
|Health care and welfare||135339||99387||33878|
|Technology, industrial design, construction||95975||43799||37396|
|Journalism, social and behavioural sciences||1380||27014||77231|
|Design, art, languages and history||32478||40572||25541|
|Mathematics, natural sciences||2060||7867||39356|
|Agriculture, veterinary medicine and animal care||18241||4908||4297|
|* Provisional figures|
In addition, study programmes within the area of Services (12 percent) were especially sought-after among MBO students, and study programmes in Journalism, social and behavioural sciences especially among university students. The Education track mainly concerns teacher training programmes, which are often study programmes at HBO level.
Health Care study programme chosen by 1 in 3 women
Slightly more women (51 percent) than men followed a study programme in the 2021/’22 academic year. Health care and welfare is particularly popular among women; almost a third of all female students (31 percent) attended a study programme within that field. The majors in Education, Services and Journalism, social and behavioural sciences each attracted about 10 percent of female students. In addition, Law, administration, trade and business services appealed to many female students (19 percent), however these disciplines were even more popular among male students: over a quarter (26 percent) followed a study programme within these fields. Furthermore, a lot of men (22 percent) chose a programme in the area of Technology, industrial design and construction.
Almost 9 in 10 computer science students were men
Consequently, the proportion of men and women is not evenly distributed within the disciplines. Men are by far the majority in computer science (88 percent) and the study programmes in the area of Technology, industrial design and construction, at 82 percent. Women are the majority in Health and welfare (80 percent), Education (71 percent) and Journalism, social and behavioural sciences (68 percent).
|Law, administration, trade, business services||171710||131150|
|Health care and welfare||54899||213705|
|Technology, industrial design, construction||145680||31490|
|Journalism, social and behavioural sciences||33494||72131|
|Design, art, languages and history||41659||56932|
|Mathematics, natural sciences||25886||23397|
|Agriculture, veterinary medicine and animal care||14201||13245|
|* Provisional figures|
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