Voortgezet Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs. (Scientific secondary education)
VWO is a form of secondary education in the Netherlands. It is one step "up" from HAVO.
VWO generally takes six years. The main difference from HAVO, is that most of the responsibility for the student's work and performance is placed with the student himself (or herself).
Before the final examinations in the sixth year, students will have to have followed seven, or six, courses which they have chosen in the fourth year. Possible choices include: Dutch (mandatory), English (mandatory), French, German, Mathematics A, Mathematics B, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Economics, Biology, Latin, and Greek.
With a VWO diploma, you are allowed into a University.
The whole system was changed last year due to something they call "Tweede Fase" (Second Phase). I believe it is about giving the students more responsibility for their own education, and there are only four possible "sets" of courses to follow (as opposed to free choice, with English and Dutch mandatory). I chose not to write on that, because next year they will probably changes again. Node for the ages doesn't work on dutch schools.