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Open Universiteit Nederland (Groningen, Emmen, Leeuwarden) is an independent, government-funded institute for distance learning at university level, making higher education accessible to anyone, regardless of formal qualifications.
The Volksuniversiteit (Emmen, Groningen, Hoogeveen, Leeuwarden, Meppel), literally, folk university, is an institute for non-formal adult education. The course programs are open to everyone, regardless of previous training, age or background. They offer a wide variety of courses, including languages, creativity, communication, computer skills, food, arts and culture. For many courses, a basic knowledge of Dutch is needed, but there are also some courses for non-Dutch speakers offered in English.
The vast majority of MBO programs in the northern region offer ‘vocational education’, a broad variety of adult education. These are, however, mostly in Dutch.