International education predominantly funded with parental contributions

International education in the Netherlands is much more expensive than regular education and is largely funded with parental contributions. In 2008, there were 18 private schools for international education in the Netherlands and 21 Dutch schools with an international division.

120 million euro worth of parental contributions

Last year, nearly 12.5 thousand pupils attended an international school in primary and secondary education. The schools received more than 150 million euro, i.e. 12 thousand euro per pupil. Parental contributions totalled 120 million euro. Parents contribute nearly half of the costs of international divisions of Dutch schools. With 91 percent, the overall parental contribution to the costs of private international schools is even higher.

Revenues international primary and secondary education, 2008

Revenues international primary and secondary education, 2008

International primary and secondary education is mainly aimed at children of foreign employees working in the Netherlands and Dutch children who have lived abroad for a number of years.

High costs per pupil

Total per capita expenditure in private schools averaged 13 thousand euro in 2008 in primary education and 15.7 thousand euro in secondary education, considerably more than in schools with an international division and more than twice as much as in schools in regular Dutch education.

This is due to the fact that private schools have to arrange their own accommodation, classes in private schools are smaller, pupil transport and some schools offer an extensive sports programme and a wide range of cultural facilities. Staff costs are also higher. Foreign teachers often receive high allowances to cover for the costs of accommodation and (international) education for their children.

Education expenditure per pupil, 2008

Revenues international primary and secondary education, 2008

Parental contribution sometimes in excess of 20 thousand euro

Parental contributions to private international schools are substantial. In primary education, the average parental contribution was 11.9 thousand euro in 2008 and in secondary education 14.4 thousand euro. Several schools were subsidised by foreign governments, resulting in lower parental contributions. Schools not subsidised by the government sometimes require an annual contribution in excess of 20 thousand euro. Foreign employees are often compensated by their employers for the high parental contribution.

Parental contribution per pupil, 2008

Parental contribution per pupil, 2008

Marcus Driessen