Private education grows faster than subsidised education

04/09/2008 15:00

In 2006, nearly 1.1 billion euro was spent on private education in the Netherlands, i.e. 4 percent of total national spending on education. The costs of private education have risen more rapidly in recent years than the costs of subsidised education. For the first time, Statistics Netherlands has monitored spending on private education.

Spending on private education grows sharply

Spending on private education has nearly doubled in the course of a decade. In 2006, spending on private education amounted to nearly 1.1 billion euro, as against 561 million euro in 1996. The number of participants as well as the per capita costs have increased. In 2006, over 183 thousand people attended some form of private education.

Costs of private education

Costs of private education

Employees contribute one third to costs of private education

Participants account for two thirds of the total costs of private education, employees for one third. Most participants intend to improve their position on the labour market. In some cases, private education is the only way to obtain a certificate. This applies for instance to airline pilot training programmes or master of business administration programmes.

Mainly vocational and higher education

Private education predominantly focuses on vocational and higher education. Possibilities for primary and secondary education within the private education sector are very limited. More than half of the total amount spent on private education goes to higher education. One in ten secondary and higher education students attend private schools and institutions.

Private education by sector, 2006

Private education by sector, 2006

Distance learning cheapest form of education

With an average of 1,750 euro per student, distance learning (written courses, e-learning) is by far the least costly form of private education. With an average of 7,500 euro, full-time private education is much more expensive due to frequent face-to-face contact with teachers and coaches. The average costs of private education amount to 5,900 euro and do not differ much from subsidised education.

Per capita costs of private education, 2006

Per capita costs of private education, 2006

Education costs per sector depend on the relation between full-time, part-time and education at a distance. Private education at secondary school level is much more expensive than education at mbo level, because the share that is given on a full-time basis is much higher. The costs of teaching small groups in private education are low as in schools based on particular ideas and theories many active volunteers keep wage costs down.

Hugo Elbers and Broos Brouwers