Share of education spending in GDP up again

27/12/2004 10:00

SSpending on education in the Netherlands was 6.9 percent higher in 2002 than in 2001. Compared with 1995, it was one and a half times as high. The share of education spending in GDP rose for third year in succession, and was just under the average for the EU.

GDP share of education spending up since 2000

Total spending on education fell from 5.5 to 5.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the period 1995–1997. This percentage subsequently remained at about the same level for a number of years. More money was spent on education during the second period of liberal-labour government under prime minister Kok. This pushed up the share of education spending in GDP to 5.5 percent in 2002. The extra funds were spent on improvement of teachers’ working conditions and material provisions in primary and secondary education.

Total spending on education (incl. study grants and loans)

Total spending on education (incl. study grants and loans)

Spending per participant highest in higher education

In 2002 5,000 euro was spent per pupil in primary school, 6,200 euro per pupil in secondary school and 7,400 per student in tertiary (higher) education. The amounts spent per participant were all higher than in 1995, with the strongest increase in primary and secondary education.

Education spending per participant

Education spending per participant

University research is not included in spending on higher education. If it were to be included, the costs per student would be twice as high as in primary and secondary education. This is because spending on research accounts for 40 percent of total spending on institutes for higher education.

Education spending in the EU

Government spending on education in the Netherlands accounted for 5.0 percent of GDP in 2001. This is slightly lower than the average of 5.1 percent in the European Union (EU-25). Germany and the United Kingdom earmarked a smaller share of GDP for education, but in France and Belgium more of GDP was spent on education. However, it is the Scandinavian countries who spend most; the government in Denmark, for example, spent 8.5 percent of GDP on education in 2001.

Spending on education in some European countries, 2001

Spending on education in some European countries, 2001

Sue Westerman

Source: OESO: Education at a Glance, 2004