Many questions about the diploma list

Over the past few months, the Code of Conduct office received many questions about the diploma list. The diploma list can be found by clicking on the ‘Documents’ tab on the Code of Conduct website. Among other things, we were asked whether there is an updated version of the diploma list and whether a separate non-EU diploma list is also available. Our attention was also drawn to the existence of discrepancies between the Dutch and English versions.

The Code of Conduct (version 2024) refers to the diploma list in the following provision:

5.8.a Contrary to Section 5.2, a higher education institution may exempt international students who have had their preparatory education in English from taking a mandatory language test. It also applies to students with an International Baccalaureate Certificate for English A Language and Literature. (…) Furthermore, a higher education institution may exempt an international student from having to take a mandatory language test in case the student obtained a diploma of secondary education in a country listed in the diploma list drawn up on behalf of the associations of institutions of higher education, as published on the website of the Code of Conduct.

The diploma list is from the education institutions and higher education umbrella organisations (VH, UNL, NRTO). The most recent update of the diploma list was coordinated by the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (VH). For this purpose a project group was established, in which various disciplines were represented. The project group included experts from education institutions, the umbrella organisations and Nuffic, among others. The lack of language experts caused the project to stall at a certain point.

We have compiled a list of the questions and reports we recently received from the field. In consultation with the VH and Nuffic, a new project group will be assembled before the summer. The intention is, with this project group, to compile an updated list as well as addressing any reported issues.

Appeal: the project group in formation lacks language experts with expertise in relation to the final secondary school examination in English. We are looking for several assessment experts who are able to compare the foreign (secondary school) examination in English with the target final level in Dutch senior general secondary education (HAVO) or pre-university education (VWO).

If you’re interested in this role or you know someone who has the qualifications we’re looking for, please contact your designated contact person at the VH or Nuffic or send an email to

Although in this newsletter we can’t provide any answers to the many questions we received, we’ll ensure you receive updates as they become available!