Unlike the European Union, the Netherlands meets European targets for education

The proportion of school-drop-outs in the Netherlands over the period 2001-2010 was reduced from 15 to 10 percent. The reduction implies that the Netherlands complies exactly with the European standard. The European standard for lifelong education had already been attained in 2000.

School drop-outs reduced by one third

The proportion of school drop-outs in the age category 18–25 has been reduced by one third to 10 percent over the past decade. Thus, the Netherlands precisely met the target set by the European Union (EU) in 2000, but has failed to meet its own standard of 8 percent for 2010. The national target for the year 2020 is also 8 percent.

Considerable differences within the EU

The aim to reduce the number of pupils and students who leave school prematurely without a certificate to 10 percent has not been complied with in the EU, but the drop-out rate has indeed dropped from 17 percent in 2001 to 14 percent in 2010.

When it comes to school drop-outs, the Netherlands was in the middle bracket in 2010, together with Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Ireland. Belgium, Germany, France and England performed worse. Slovakia and the Czech Republic recorded the lowest drop-out rate ((5 percent). In all these countries, rates have been fairly stable between 2001 and 2010. The Netherlands and Ireland achieved better results, realising a reduction from 15 to 10 percent.

With 37, 29 and 28 percent respectively, the highest drop-out rates were recorded in Malta, Portugal and Spain. Between 2001 and 2010, the proportion of early school leavers was reduced significantly in Malta and Portugal; the rate in Spain remained more or less stable.

School drop-outs

School drop-outs

Lifelong education has been stable in the Netherlands for years

The proportion of 25 to 65-year-olds in the Netherlands pursuing some for of education has varied around 16 percent between 2001 and 2010, putting the Netherlands above the EU standard level for lifelong learning of 12.5 percent in 2010. The Netherlands’ national target of 20 percent has not been achieved. This target also applies for the period running up to 2020.

In the EU, the number of people attending some form of education has increased from 7 to 9 percent. On EU level, the target for lifelong learning has not been attained.

The Netherlands take up a relatively high position in the EU list for lifelong learning. Denmark, Sweden and Finland perform best, followed by England, the Netherlands and Slovakia. In most other countries, fewer than 10 percent of 25 to 65-year-olds attend courses or other forms of schooling. This also applies to Belgium, Germany and France.

Proportion of 25 to 65-year-olds pursuing some form of education

Proportion of 25 to 65-year-olds pursuing some form of education

Christine Jol