Study profile guidance: perspectives of students, school counsellors and tutors in Dutch secondary education


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Dutch students have to choose a study profile (combination of subjects) at the end of Grade 8 (pre-vocational education) or 9 (senior general and pre-university education). School counsellors and tutors guide students’ choices. This PhD research has provided insight into the perspectives of counsellors, tutors and students on this study profile guidance.

Counsellors and tutors usually do not recommend a specific profile to students. However, they do guide students to make that choice themselves. Three factors are considered the most important: students’ interests and the enjoyableness of subjects, students’ abilities, and future-oriented factors, i.e. taking into account a possible subsequent programme, job or sector. The extent to which they consider these factors important varies.

Tutors and counsellors often do not see the profiles as equivalent. Science and Technology and Culture and Society are often seen as the extremes, and Economics and Society and Science and Health are in between.

Most students are neutral to positive towards profile guidance, but they had varied experiences. For example, they found conversations with the counsellor or tutor important, but these often lacked depth.

We recommend giving students more opportunities for more frequent and more in-depth discussions. It would also be recommended if tutors and counsellors discuss what they aim to teach students about the content of profiles and making a profile choice. We also recommend that tutors and counsellors discuss their role perceptions: for example, do they feel there is a role for them in reducing gender-stereotyped profile choices?
The researchers have developed a tool to support students in making an informed profile choice (
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Korpershoek, Hanke, Supervisor
  • Warrens, Matthijs J., Supervisor
  • Bosker, Roel, Supervisor
Datum van toekenning14-mrt.-2024
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
Gedrukte ISBN's978-94-93353-53-4
StatusPublished - 2024

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