In school year 2000/2001, 157 thousand children in the Netherlands sat final school exams in secondary education. This was twelve thousand fewer than in the previous year. The number of exam candidates dropped strongly at havo level in particular: by ten thousand. One reason for this was the smaller number of pupils who moved out of the mavo into the havo stream. This switch has probably become more difficult by the changes in the structure of secondary education introduced with the studiehuis.
More exam candidates with a non-western background
The share of exam candidates with a non-western foreign background has increased for all school types in recent years. With eighteen percent, candidates with a non-western background account for a relatively large part of vbo candidates, while there are relatively few among pupils sitting havo and vwo exams: nine and seven percent respectively.
Three-quarters of non-western candidates sit vbo and mavo exams
There are particularly many pupils with a non-western foreign background in the vbo stream. This led to 74 percent of all exam candidates with a non-western background doing vbo and mavo exams in 2000/2001, while for native Dutch pupils this percentage were 58.
Exams sat by non-western foreign pupils and native pupils, 2001
Pass rates lower for pupils with a foreign background
The pass rates for pupils with a non-western foreign background is lower than those for native Dutch pupils. While 91 percent of native pupils pass havo exams and 92 percent pass vwo exams, 79 and 80 percent respectively of pupils with a non-western foreign background pass at these levels.
Pass rates by origin, 2001
Native Dutch pupils in large cities more likely to do havo and vwo
Fifty-four percent of native Dutch pupils who go to school in the four large cities, go to havo or vwo stream schools. Outside these large cities only 41 percent do. For pupils with a non-western foreign background there are hardly any differences in school choices between pupils living in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht and pupils in the rest of the country.
Exam candidates in the four large cities by origin, 2001
Pass rate slightly lower in large cities
The pass rates are in general lower in the four large cities than in the rest of the country. This effect is larger for pupils with a non-western foreign background than among native pupils. This intensifies the differences between school choice and exam results in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht compared with these differences on a national scale.
Suzan van der Aart