About us



Friesland College is a Regional Training Centre for secondary vocational education (VET) and adult education. Every year about 10,000 students follow an education or  course:

8,000 follow a VET education which  from two to  four years,  and  2,000  follow short- term courses which  can last from a few days to a year.

Friesland College is an open educational institution with  respect for all religions and cultures  in society.



Friesland College Core Values

Friesland College:

  •  is involved with and listens to its students
  • has a passion for teaching
  • is innovative

Core values of the employees of Friesland College

Employees of Friesland College

  •  have an understanding of learning processes
  • are able to self-reflect
  • have the ability to change
  • are able to see opportunities and dare to experiment


Students  can choose from a wide variety of educations and courses, job opportunities, facilities and activities at Friesland College. These are provided throughout the province of Friesland by a small teaching  and support staff of 850 .  They are active in seventeen locations, the largest two being located in Leeuwarden  and Heerenveen  which are in the province Friesland (in the north of The Netherlands).





School  and courses

Friesland College Vocational Education and Training (VET) for students over 16 is organized  into 6 schools, each focused on a particular business sector.

  • School for Engineering & Technology
  • School for Commerce  & Services
  • D’Drive, school for Creative industries & Educational work
  • CIOS, school for Sport & Exercise
  • School for Nursing, Health, Welfare & Social Care
  • Lifesciences, i.c.w. Nordwin (Food & Laboratory technology, Watermanagement)


Adult Education

The  Adult Education Department has about  100 enrolments every year. They provide education for adults, looking for a qualificaton  or   for migrants who need to complete their citizenship exams and Dutch language tests. More of the courses in Adult education are in the field of basic skills, as reading and writing (literacy) and mathematics. Another group of enrolments are young adults (18+) who need a certificate  for Lower secondary and upper secondary education.


Educational Philosophy

Starting  point

Education begins in practice. That’s the premise of learning at Friesland College, where we try to provide more exciting, contemporary and challenging education; education that invites students’ initiative, curiosity, reflection and practical application of knowledge. Friesland College wants to promote new professionalism in education and training by using a student-centred approach, coaching students to realize their career ambitions. The College aims to offer students practical learning experience in real  life settings within the Workplace Driven Learning path (WDL) in order to create opportunitiies for students s to develop professional skills and reflective powers. They starts at the workplace from the first year on.

In Friesland College learning is a constructive process. Students work on their assignments independently or in a group. This can be done in a classroom, a Learning Resource Centre, a small study room or through practical work experience outside the college, either as a student in the WDL path or as a trainee in  a company. Students learn in a way that suits their individual styles of learning and are  responsible for their own learning process. Results  are  determined by the activities the individual student has participated in and are  assessed on the basis of the student’s demonstration of having mastered the required skills (competencies). Both staff and students should be aware of their responsibilities and remember that  everyone needs to concentrate as much on HOW we learn as on WHAT we are  learning together. Sharing knowledge with industry and other educational institutions, regionally, nationally and internationally, is also very important to Friesland College.


For education to be effective courses and programmes need to offer students opportunities to learn, to gain knowledge and to combine knowledge and skills by applying these in practice and to develop the necessary attitudes to function effectively in society and in the workplace.


By demonstrating what they have learned in real situations students will discover

  • what they know and
  • what they have mastered and
  • what they have yet to learn.

Being able to reflect on the effects of behaviour is an important precondition for effective learning. The basic principle of practice driven learning is that  it becomes effective if it encourages reflection, adaptability, flexibility, experimentation and understanding. In order to achieve this, students will need to work in ‘meaningful situations’ in their chosen profession and to have access to learning resources and media. The learning process is driven by practice and experience.