Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used to informally refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands.
The vmbo has 4 grades and is subdivided over several levels. Successfully completing the vmbo results in a low-level vocational degree that grants access to the mbo. MBO ("middle-level applied education"). This form of education primarily focuses on teaching a practical trade, or a vocational degree. With the mbo certification, a student can APPLY for the hbo. The havo has 5 grades and allows for admission to the hbo. HBO ("higher professional education"), are universities of professional education (or applied sciences) that award professional bachelor degree; similar to polytechnic degrees. A HBO degrees gives access to the university system. The vwo (including atheneum and gymnasium) has 6 grades and prepares for studying at a (research) university. Universities offer of a three-year bachelor's degree, followed by a one-, or two year master's degree, which in turn can be followed by a four-year doctoral degree program. Doctoral candidates in the Netherlands are temporary employees of a university.