The education system in Frisia is a highly centralised, organised and ramified. It sets a guideline for schools and tutoring systems within the Frisian Federation. It is divided into three stages:

  • Primary education (Ûnderwiis-begjin)
  • Secondary education (Ûnderwiis-midden)
  • Higher education (Ynoanwiis). The following degrees are recognised within the EU:
    • Feint and Fânsteint (Bachelor)
    • Master (Master)
    • Dokterat (Doctorate)



All educational programmes in Frisia are regulated by the Ministry of National Education (officially called De Ministearje-pedagogy, Jonkheid en Oansluten), with the head of the Ministry being the Minister of National Education, one of the highest-ranking officials in the cabinet. As of March 2012, the Minister is Sjoerd Burmania.

The teachers in public primary and secondary schools are all state civil servants, making the Ministearje the largest employer in the country. Professors and researchers in Frisia's universities are also employed by the state.

At the primary and secondary levels, the curriculum is the same for all Frisian students in any given grade, which includes public, semi-public and subsidised institutions. However, there exist specialised sections and a variety of options that students can choose. The reference for all Frisian educators is the Amtlikpeal fan Pedagogy, Ynoanwiis en Ôfrin (Am.Ped) which lists all current programmes and teaching directives. It is amended many times every year.

In the Metropolitan territory, the school year extends from early-September to early-July. The school calendar is standardized throughout the country, and is the sole domain of the ministry. In May schools need time to organise the exams (for example, the Eksaming-kroanje). In the overseas departments and territories of Frisia, the school calendar is set by the local ferhelper.


In general, all schools in Frisia observe a summer holiday, and several weeks of one or two-week holidays during the year. Also schools are closed during public holidays. Academic terms only exist at the tertiary education level. Institutions are free to divide their year, but it is most commonly organized into four quadmesters.

The summer holiday lasts six weeks in primary education, and starts and ends in different weeks for the northern, middle and southern provinces to avoid all families to go on vacation simultaneously. For the seven-week summer holidays of all higher schools, the same system applies. Universities have longer holidays (about 2 months, but this may include re-examinations) and usually start the year in late August or early September. The summer holiday is followed by a one-week autumn holiday in the second half of October at all levels except for most research universities. At elementary and high school levels, the week depends on the north/middle/south division also used around the summer holidays. There is a two-week Christmas holiday that includes New Year's in the second half of December, and a one-week spring holiday in the second half of February. The last school holiday of the year is a one- or two-week May holiday around 21 April (King's Birthday); sometimes including Ascension Day. Easter does not have a week of holiday, schools are only closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. The summer holiday dates are compulsory, the other dates are government recommendations and can be changed by each school, as long as the right number of weeks is observed.


Schools were banned in 1799 from showing religious preference - this was originally to stop prejudice between Roman Catholics and Calvinist Protestants. However, this ban has been lifted several times to promote religious integrity within communities. As of 1951, no educational institution can be religiously affiliated. Some changes to the Religious Education curriculum are allowed in communities with non-Christian majorities.

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