Youngsters staying in school longer

16/12/2008 15:00

More and more students are staying in or returning to full-time education even when they are no longer obliged to. This is mainly the result of the popularity of higher education. The number of over-16s in secondary education, on the other hand, decreased in the period 1995/’96-2007/’08.

Fewer students in secondary, more in higher education

The number of pupils and students aged 16 years and older was 15 percent higher in school year 2007/'08 than in 1995/'96. There are substantial differences between education levels. The number of pupils aged over 16 in secondary education dropped sharply, by 11 percent. In higher education the number of students rose substantially, by 29 percent. The number of students in senior secondary vocational training (mbo) grew by 18 percent. 

The trend in numbers of pupils and students is related to changes in the size of the population and in the percentage of the population participating in education. The effect of these two factors differs between the various levels of education.

Student numbers (16 years and older), ‘95/’96-‘07/’08

Student numbers (16 years and older), ‘95/’96-‘07/’08

Less delay in secondary education

The 11 percent decrease in participation in secondary education is the result of a substantially smaller percentage of participants. The main reason for this is that students are completing courses more quickly, by accumulating fewer diploma’s and repeating fewer years. As the population aged 16-19 years increased in the same period, the decrease in the number of pupils in secondary education remained limited. 

Higher education became very popular in the period 1995-2007. The substantial growth in the number of students in higher education would have been even higher if the population in the ages relevant for higher education had not decreased. As it is, participation dropped by 10 percent. 

Longer expected duration of education for 16 year-olds

In 2007/’08 the period 16 year-old students were expected to remain in full-time education was on average nearly 6.5 years. This is considerably longer than twelve years previously, when the average 16 year-old could be expected to stay in school full-time for another five and a half years. The period was longer in nearly all levels of education. Only in secondary education do 16 year-olds spend less time than they used to.

Average period 16 year-olds are expected to sty in education 

Average period 16 year-olds are expected to sty in education

Dick Takkenberg