Many ethnic minority students in the secondary schools in the four major Dutch cities

15/11/2005 14:00

In the four major cities students with a non-western background form the majority in over half of the secondary schools. Nationwide this was the case in one in ten schools. Rotterdam has the most schools dominated by minority students, relatively speaking, while The Hague has the least.

Quarter of schools in the four major cities primarily have non-western students

Dutch secondary schools in 2004/’05 on average had 14 percent of students with a non-western background. In the four major Dutch cities this was on average 45 percent. In almost half of the schools in the four major cities students with a non-western background formed over 50 percent of the student population. In one quarter they made up over 80 percent.

Secondary schools by share of non-western students, 2004/’05

Secondary schools by share of non-western students, 2004/’05

Havo/vwo schools have fewer non-western students

The unequal distribution of students in secondary schools is mainly due to the fact that more native Dutch students go to secondary general education at the havo and vwo level whereas more students with a non-western background go to vocational training at the vmbo level.
In the four major cities 11 percent of the schools offering only havo and/or vwo education had a population of over 50 percent students with a non-western background. This was 67 percent for schools providing vocational training at the lower levels of vmbo.

School population in the four major cities by combination of school types, 2004/'05

School population in the four major cities by combination of school types, 2004/'05

The share of students with a non-western background in secondary schools is related to the type of education on offer. Furthermore, the population with a non-western background is not equally distributed over the neighbourhoods, and native Dutch students often opt for schools with fewer non-native students even if these schools are further away from their home. 

Rotterdam has more schools where non-western students form the majority

Amsterdam schools in 2004/’05 had 52 percent students with a non-western background, which is more than Rotterdam with its 43 percent. Yet Rotterdam has relatively more schools where non-western students form the majority, which shows the unequal distribution of students with a non-western background over the schools.

More equal distribution in The Hague

In The Hague the share of non-western students was about the same as in Rotterdam. Yet the Hague has far fewer schools where non-western students are the majority. The schools in the Hague have a more even distribution of students than in Rotterdam.

Marijke Hartgers