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International Business Studies

International Business Studies (IBS) is aimed at students who dream of a commercial career abroad. This English/Dutch programme results in two diplomas: the English BTEC Extended National Diploma in Business and the Dutch diploma Branch Manager Wholesale. IBS is a three-year level 4 education.

For whom?
Successful IBS students should have self-discipline, be able to handle stressful situations and have an entrepreneurial and international attitude. Showing initiative and being able to plan well are also vital. To start the programme, students should have basic English skills, as many subjects are taught in English.

Professional perspectives
Graduates usually work for internationally-oriented businesses or import/export companies, working for example as commercial assistant, branch manager or assistant branch manager, and independent entrepreneur. This diploma also offers students the opportunity to work abroad or to work for a foreign company with branches in the Netherlands. After graduation, students also often choose to continue their studies at an institute of higher vocational education (HBO) or to study abroad.

Professional Tasks
On a typical day at work, IBS graduates may handle operational activities related to personnel, finance, communication, logistics and/or the legal aspects of the company. They may also be involved in the creation of business and strategic plans, or doing market research.

International Business Studies is a broad, internationally-focused education. The core subjects of business operations are dealt with, such as marketing, management, accounting and human resource management. To strengthen the international character of the programme, approximately 50% of the classes are taught in English and 50% in Dutch. Students with ambition and drive are offered an Excellence programme, in which, for example, they can choose to finish their English-language subjects at a higher level.

Vocational subjects

  • Business
  • Retail
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Sales
  • Public speaking and presenting (Toastmasters)

General subjects

  • Dutch
  • Mental Maths
  • Career Orientation
  • Citizenship
  • Sport and exercise
  • English and ICT skills

Work placement
A required aspect of the programme are two work placements (Dutch: BPV). During the second year, the work placement lasts ten weeks and during the third year twenty weeks. Students shall be seeking their own work placement companies, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

Entry requirements
For this education one of the following diplomas is required:

  • Vmbo middle-management learning path
  • Vmbo mixed learning path
  • Vmbo theoretical learning path or mavo
  • Proof of transfer from havo 3 to havo 4 or from vwo 3 to vwo 4
  • Mbo vocational training (level 3)
  • If in this industry / business there is no level 3 education, an mbo basic vocational training (level 2) is also admissible
  • Another diploma or piece of evidence recognized by the public authorities on the basis of a ministerial regulation

Additional requirements for this education

  • Since IBS offers bilingual education, the additional requirement is that students in their pre-training have scored at least a 7 as a final grade for English.
  • This education is part of the Economy sector. If students did not take the Economy profile during their pre-training, an additional requirement applies of having done either mathematics, economics or a second modern language as an examination subject.

After applying for this education, the student will receive some assignments that need to be completed prior to the intake interview. During the intake interview the student presents the assignments in English to the teachers present. Based on this presentation and the outcome of the intake interview, it will be determined whether the student is accepted for IBS.

Further practical information

Level:                                 4, Learning path BOL
Duration:                            3 years
Location:                            Groningen
Tuition hours per week:       30
Practical training:                20%
Evaluation by the students:  7.3

Apply for this programme

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