Study migration from the Caribbean to the European Netherlands

From 2013 up to and including 2017, a total of 392 young adults who were born in the former Netherlands Antilles or Aruba left the Caribbean Netherlands to stay in the European Netherlands.

Female majority in one-third of high-level occupations

There are more female than male workers in over one-third of occupational groups at higher levels, especially in the sector care and welfare and in education. This is related to fields of study chosen by men and women.

More students taking out higher student loans

In 2019, the total amount borrowed by former and current students in the Netherlands stood at 19.3 billion euros, i.e. 1.9 billion more than in the previous year. Total student debt is increasing every year.

No gender gap in higher education

Nearly 31 percent of both men and women in the Netherlands have a higher professional (HBO) or university (WO) qualification.

Fact sheet International schools

Expenditure by households and foreign governments on international primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands, and the number of students and school staff in the period 2007-2017*.

More girls than boys exceeding expected school level

In 2017/’18, more girls than boys in the third year of secondary education were studying at a higher level than recommended by their primary school. This applied to all students who did not fall behind in their studies in the meantime.

Nearly 1 in 5 adults in education or training

In 2017, over 1.7 million people in the Netherlands between the ages of 25 and 65 years participated in a form of adult learning. This concerned formal education such as secondary vocational education (MBO) or higher professional education (HBO), as well as courses and workshops.

New edition Trends in the Netherlands
6% of international graduates set up a company here

Six percent of international alumni from Dutch universities set up a company in the Netherlands.

Leiden’s educational opportunities into clear focus

The UDC Leiden studied how many children attending primary school and living in Leiden have an elevated risk of educational disadvantage.

One in five primary school teachers are over 55

The teaching workforce in primary education is currently ageing. In the 2003/’04 school year, 11 percent of primary teachers were 55 years of age or over, as against 21 percent in 2017/’18.

1 in 3 Sabans are highly educated

Among the three islands comprising the Caribbean Netherlands, Saba has relatively many highly educated inhabitants: a share of 33 percent among 25 to 74-year-olds. This is related to the fact that the island houses a university that specialises in medicine.

Tech education gaining popularity among girls

Tech subjects are chosen by an increasing proportion of girls in secondary and higher education.

Hospitality students go abroad most often

Nearly one-quarter of higher education graduates went abroad for their education, mainly those in hospitality.

More international tech graduates stay to work

In 2014, over 38% of all international technology graduates from 2007/’08 held a job in the Netherlands.

1 in 3 women with technical degrees work in engineering

Fewer young, highly educated people have completed technical studies compared to ten years ago.

Mass Imputation for Census Estimation

Estimating educational attainment levels for the Dutch Virtual Census

Migration background still plays a role

The Annual Report on Integration 2016 gives an overview of various population groups with a migrant background.

Slightly more children diagnosed with dyslexia

The percentage of children suffering from dyslexia has risen slightly since 2001.

The Netherlands in European top 5 of 'lifelong learning'

In comparison with the rest of the EU, the Dutch are relatively active participants in ‘lifelong learning’. Training for work or leisure is more popular among highly educated and those working in financial services, health care and education.

Children adopted from China perform better in secondary education

Statistics Netherlands announced today that children adopted from China perform better at school than non-adopted children; 15-year-old children with a Chinese background more often attend pre-university (vwo) education. Children adopted from South Korea have the same performance level in secondary education as non-adopted children, but - on average - children adopted from other countries attend lower strata of education. Children adopted after their second birthday have a lower education level than those adopted prior to their second birthday.

fewer apprenticeships for mbo students in 2013

As a result of the economic situation in the Netherlands nearly 18 thousand fewer apprenticeship places were available in 2013 than in 2012 for students in the apprenticeship-based track (bbl) of senior secondary vocational education (mbo); a drop of nearly 10 percent. Private sector companies spent 122 million euros less on supervising mbo students in work-based learning schemes.

Seventy thousand primary school pupils in special needs education

In school year 2013/’14, 70 thousand pupils (5 percent) received special needs primary education or attended a special needs primary school in the Netherlands. A new law on appropriate education is to take effect on 1 August. From that date, all schools will be required to offer every child a suitable school place, preferably within the system of regular primary education. The number of children requiring extra support differs strongly between regions.

Number of school dropouts down in the Netherlands and the EU

The school dropout rate in the Netherlands was reduced in recent years to 8.8 percent in 2012. The rate across the EU was also gradually reduced.

Most common route to master's degree costs 148 thousand euros

The route most students take at university to get their master’s degree cost 148 thousand euros in 2012. This is the standard route including failing classes and delays. The shortest possible route to a master’s is the nominal route, which costs 15 thousand euros less.

Expenditure on apprenticeship training programmes marginally up in 2012

Last year, certified companies providing practical experience and training spent 2.5 billion euros on apprenticeship training programmes, i.e. 37 million euros more than in 2011.

Dutch population better educated

In 2012, 28 percent in the Dutch population were highly educated. The education level in the population has risen continually since 2003. The proportion of low educated people declined, the proportion of people educated at secondary level remained unchanged.

Children in stepfamilies underachieve on Cito test

In 2011, children in primary school group eight had an average Cito (Dutch National Institute for Educational Measurement) score of 536. Boys and girls in high-income families scored above average. Children in stepfamilies underachieved in each income category.

University bachelors graduate sooner

The share of bachelor students at universities graduating within 5 years has grown substantially. Female students still graduate sooner than their male counterparts, but men are in the process of catching up.

One in five schools have fewer than 100 pupils

In 2011/’12, there were nearly 7 thousand primary schools establishments in the Netherlands. One in five had fewer than 100 pupils. The number of small primary schools has grown somewhat in recent years.

Schools eat into their financial reserves

For the second year running, schools in primary and secondary education face a deficit. The 2011 deficit amounted to 171 million euros, versus 190 million euros one year previously.

Revised: Associate-degree programme attracts mainly mbo graduates

Many first-year students in higher professional education (hbo) in the Netherlands in 2012/’11 who opted for the shorter two-year programme are graduates from senior secondary vocational education (mbo). They are older than first-year students in the regular four-year hbo programme, relatively more of them are men, and more of them choose the part-time curriculum.

Associate-degree programme attracts mainly mbo graduates

Many first year students in higher professional education (hbo) in the Netherlands in 2012/’11 who opted for the shorter two-year programme are graduates from senior secondary vocational education (mbo). They are relatively older than first year students in the regular four-year hbo programme, relatively more of them are women, and more of them choose the part-time curriculum.

Early drop out warning signals already show in the first year of secondary school

The first signs that students are at a higher risk of dropping out of school are already visible in the first year of secondary school. This is one of the conclusions of the PhD thesis “Early school-leaving in the Netherlands.

More boys in special schools

The number of pupils attending special needs schools in the Netherlands rose by 30 percent in the period 2003/’04 – 2011/’12. The increase mainly took place in secondary education.

More employees on courses, less spent on training

Nearly four out of ten private sector employees in the Netherlands did a work-related course in 2010. Five years previously this was 34 percent. In 2010 spending on courses accounted for 2.1 percent of labour costs, this is slightly less than in 2005.

Costs special schools 1.6 billion euro in 2010

The operating costs of special schools amounted to 1.6 billion euro in 2010, i.e. 9 percent of total expenses of institutions in primary and secondary education. Revenues minus expenses amounted to 7 million euro, versus 50 million euro in 2006. Despite the declining surplus, special schools are, on the whole, financially sound.

Sharp drop in first year teacher training students

There has been a 20 percent drop in students entering teacher training at the hbo level over the last five years. Particularly the interest in training to become an elementary school teacher has fallen sharply.

University bachelors graduating more quickly

The share of university students receiving a bachelor’s degree within four years has risen in the last few years.

Schools eat into their financial reserves

In the period 2006-2010, expenses in primary and secondary education rose more rapidly than revenues. Although schools spent more in recent years than their allocated budgets allowed, there is still plenty of money in the school coffers.

More exam candidates, lower havo and vwo pass rates

The proportion of pupils in secondary education who opt for higher general secondary education (havo) or pre-university education (vwo) is growing.

One in three children have same level of education as their parents

The level of education of one in every three children is the same as their parents. Boys, whose fathers are farmers or engineers, often follow in their footsteps. The same applies to girls whose mothers have studied economics or law at various levels.

Dutch increase in senior secondary vocational education passes larger than in European Union

More than 146 thousand students passed their final exams in senior secondary vocational education (mbo) in the Netherlands in 2008/’09. This increase, 35 percent compared with ten years previously, is much larger than the average for the European Union, which was 10 percent in the same period.

University degree costs less

In 2010, a schooling path ending in a university master’s degree in the Netherlands cost 153 thousand euro. It is the first time that the costs are lower than in the previous year.

Steady increase in pupils attending special schools

In school year 2010/’11 nearly 69 thousand pupils went to special schools, compared to 54 thousand in school year 2003/’04.

Just over one in three workers do company training

In 2010 36 percent of private sector employees went on a company course. Employers spent 1.6 billion euro on company training, this is 435 euro on average per employee.

Just over one in three workers do company training

In 2010 36 percent of private sector employees went on a company course. Employers spent 1.6 billion euro on company training, this is 435 euro on average per employee.

Record exam passes for mbo students

These are a few conclusions from the Jaarboek onderwijs in cijfers 2011, an annual report with statistics on education in the Netherlands (published in Dutch only) released today.

9 percent of cannabis coffee shops in the vicinity of schools

The coalition agreement stipulates that cannabis coffee shops must be located at a distance of at least 350 metres from the nearest school. Last year, 58 coffee shops in the Netherlands were located within a distance of 350 metres from a secondary school, i.e. 9 percent of all coffee shops.

Shorter average distance to nearest after-school care facility

The average distance to the nearest after-school care facility was 900 metres in the Netherlands in 2010.

Economics most popular sector for vmbo students
Nearly one million women higher educated than their partners

More than 950 thousand women were higher educated than their partners in 2010, which means that in nearly one in every four couples the woman is the highest educated. In recent years, the number of couples, in which the female partner has the highest level of education, has gradually increased.

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.

More students in higher education

A growing part of 18 to 25-year-olds embark on a study in higher vocational education (hbo) or university (wo). Women and young people with a non-western background are the main contributors to the increase.

Doctoral degree makes a difference on the labour market

Doctoral degree holders more often work on a full-time basis and are usually employed on a higher professional level than people without a doctorate.

Three-quarters of school drop-outs find a job eventually

Fewer early school-leavers find a job in the long run than school-leavers with a basic qualification.

Care education more popular than ever
127 million euro in school coffers

Altogether, Dutch educational institutions had 127 million euro in the coffers in 2009. The financial surplus of schools was reduced over the past years.

Emancipation monitor 2010

Labour participation and economic independence of women increase in spite of crisis.

Substantial part of school drop-outs return to school after period of non-attendance

In school year 2009/’10, approximately 30 percent of pupils who had left school prematurely in 2004/’05 had returned to school or otherwise obtained a basic qualification.

Considerable increase student loans

Over the period 1997-2009, the share of student loans in the system student loans and grants has steadily grown. The total amount of public spending on student loans and grants has also increased over this period.

Considerable increase over-30s in mbo

In the school year 2009/’10, more than 30 thousand men and  31 thousand women over the age of 30 participated in secondary vocational education (mbo), an increase by nearly two thirds relative to 2005/’06. Older mbo students often attend training programmes related to health care and technology.

Many mbo students stay on after diploma

About half of students who received a diploma in senior secondary vocational education (mbo) in 2008/’09 stayed on in school, most of them doing courses at a higher level of mbo.


About a quarter of pupils who leave school without a diploma returned to school in later years; some of them will therefore attain a basic qualification as yet.

Nearly one in five first-year mbo students leave school without a diploma

Drop-out rates in senior secondary vocational education (mbo) range from 10 percent after one year in school to nearly 20 percent after four years.

Annually,  7 percent of pupils move down from class 3 havo to vmbo

Approximately 7 percent of pupils in class 3 havo (higher general secondary education) pupils move down to the vmbo (lower secondary general and vocational education).

More and more vwo pupils choosing nature subject clusters

The proportion of pupils in pre-university education (vwo) choosing one of the two nature subject clusters has increased steadily. The nature subject clusters have been the most popular choice for a number of years now.

EU target early school leavers within reach for the Netherlands

In 2008, more than 11 percent of pupils in the Netherlands left school prematurely, making it feasible for the Netherlands to comply with the target of 10 percent in 2010 set by the European Union (EU).

Lower havo pass rates in four large cities

Some 80 thousand students in Dutch senior general secondary education (havo) and pre-university education (vwo) are sitting their final exams this month. In the past few years, around nine out of ten of these candidates passed their exams and received a diploma. Pass rates for pupils who live in Rotterdam were lower in 2008/’09 than average for the whole country.

Nine in ten Dutch live within a 5 km radius from a secondary school

The average distance for Dutch residents to the nearest secondary school is 2.4 km. Nine in ten residents have at least one school within a 5 km radius.

Fewer school-leavers without starter qualification

The number of 15 to 25-year-olds without starter qualification who are no longer attending education has dropped significantly over the past decade.

Higher educated 25 to 35-year-olds are doing well on the labour market

Nearly 94 percent of 25 to 35-year-old higher educated no longer attending any form of education were employed in 2009. With 89 percent, the employment rate was also high among higher educated with a non-western background and has risen considerably since 2003.

Most students who move elsewhere to study stay in the same part of the country

Annually, 96 thousand 18 to 21-year-olds move to another municipality, often to embark on a study in higher vocational education or university. They often settle in one of the major cities or university towns.

Wo bachelors require more time than hbo bachelors

In the Netherlands, students can obtain a bachelor’s degree in higher vocational education (hbo) and university (wo). Hbo students have one year extra to obtain their bachelor’s degree than university students.

Agricultural pupils in vmbo often switch sector when they move to mbo

One third of pupils in preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo) choose a different discipline when they move on to senior secondary vocational education (mbo). For vmbo pupils in agricultural disciplines this proportion if twice as large.

Schools have less money left

Educational institutions had less money left in 2008 than in 2007. Schools for secondary vocational education (mbo) recorded a negative result for the first time in ten years.

Growing number of vmbo pupils move up to havo

In recent years more graduated vmbo pupils move up to havo level (higher general secondary education). At the same time, the number of havo pupils advancing to vwo level (pre-university education) declined last school year.

Many German students in Dutch higher education

In 2008/’09, nearly 45 thousand foreign students were enrolled at Dutch vocational colleges and universities, a 28 percent growth compared to 2005/’06. The majority of them are German (42 percent).

Hospital admissions affect drop-out rate vwo pupils

Vwo (pre-university education) pupils who were admitted in hospital once or more run a greater risk to leave secondary education without a regular diploma than vwo pupils who were never admitted in hospital.Other types of (secondary) education appear not to be affected by hospital admissions.

Pupils from high-income families more often fall back to lower level of education

In the school year 2004/’05, more than185 thousand new pupils were registered in secondary education. Three years later, nearly 26 thousand of them attended the middle management vocational track (vmbo-k) of preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo).

Faster graduation from college or university when graduated from highschool with higher grades

The higher the grades students received for their final exams in secondary education, the faster they will graduate from higher education. These graduation grades play a larger role for men than for women.

Private sector spend more on education

In 2008 spending on education totalled 37.6 billion euro. This is 2.4 billion euro more than in 2007.

Majority of mbo students with non-western background opt for theory-based learning track

Students with a non-western background in general secondary vocational education (mbo) more often than native Dutch students prefer the more theoretically-oriented learning track (bol) to the apprenticeship-based learning track (bbl).

Mbo diplomas relatively most expensive

The longer an educational programme takes to complete, the more a diploma will cost. However, the price of a diploma correlates a lot more with the previous education routes of students than the total duration of the programme.

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.

Students earn an average 5 thousand euro a year

Students in Dutch higher education earned an average 5,250 euro in 2008, either through a job or through their own company.

Dutch education spending higher than EU average

Government spending on education in the Netherlands accounted for about 5.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005. This is slightly higher than the average in the European Union.

Number of primary school pupils drops sharply in Limburg

The number of children enrolled in primary schools in the south of the Netherlands, especially in the province of Limburg, fell substantially between 2000/’01 and 2008/’09. This was partly the result of the decrease in the number of 4 to 12 year-olds in this part of the country.

Sector education spent 800 million euro on temps in 2007

In 2007, schools in the sector subsidised education spent 800 million euro on temps, a quarter more than one year previously. In the preceding years, costs of temporary staff have risen more rapidly in all sectors of education than other personnel costs.

More women than men opt for high-level mbo subjects

In secondary vocational education (mbo), women more often than men opt for training programmes at a higher level. Programmes with an emphasis on socio-pedagogical subjects are particularly popular.

Vocational education suffers loss as a result of civic integration

From a financial point of view, 2007 was a poor year for vocational and adult education in the Netherlands. The financial position of regional training centres (Regionale Opleidingscentra, or ROCs), in particular, deteriorated.

North Holland has largest proportion of school drop-outs

With 4.7 percent, the province of North Holland had the highest proportion of premature school leavers in the school year 2006/’07.

Youngsters staying in school longer

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.

Revised statistics: investments in education higher

After revision, the costs of education in the Netherlands amounted to 34 billion euro in 2006, an increase by 4 billion euro relative to the amount prior to the revision.

Doctorate holders successful on the labour market

Currently, more than 1 million people in the Netherlands hold a university degree. Nearly 70 thousand obtained a doctorate in the period 2004-2007.

Workers in education oldest on average

The average age of people employed in education was over 43 years in 2007. This makes education the ‘greyest’ sector of employment in the Netherlands.

Moroccans have fewer problems with the Dutch language than Turks

People with a non-western background fairly frequently indicate that Dutch is a difficult language for them. Turks find it harder than Moroccans to speak, read and write Dutch.

Private education grows faster than subsidised education

Nearly 1.1 billion euro was spent on private education in the Netherlands in 2006. Spending on private education grew more rapidly than spending on subsidised education.

Culture and society no longer most popular subject cluster among havo-4 girls
Private sector invests 1.7 billion euro in vocational education

In 2006, the public sector spent 1.7 billion euro (5 percent of total spending on education and 0.3 percent of the GDP) on apprenticeship training programmes and other combinations of education and learning on the job.

Number of special needs pupils almost doubled

In the school year 2007/’08, 65 thousand pupils attended schools for children with handicaps and/or disorders. The number has almost doubled relative to the school year 1995/’96. The majority of pupils attending special needs education are boys.

The Dutch Standard Classification of Education, SOI 2006

The Dutch standard classification of education was introduced by Statistics Netherlands in 1978. This classification covers all types of programmes by level and field of study and is used for survey coding, statistics or registration. Each programme is assigned an identity code, which facilitates ordering of programmes according to other classifications, such as the ISCED 1997.

More than one million people in non-funded education

In 2006 an average 1.1 million people aged between 17 and 65 years participated in some form of non-funded education.

Number of underprivileged pupils in primary education reduced by half

The number of underprivileged pupils in primary education has been reduced by half since the school year 1995/’96. In 2007/’08, nearly 280 thousand underprivileged pupils attended Dutch primary schools, corresponding to 18 percent of all pupils in primary education (excluding special primary education), as against 581 thousand (over 39 percent) in 195/’96.

Students borrow more and more

In 2007, Dutch students altogether borrowed 2.7 billion euro – an increase by 19 percent relative to the previous year – from the institution responsible for the issue of study loans and grants (IBG). Students in higher education accounted for the largest amount: over 2.2 billion euro.

Disregarding Cito advice often leads to switch to different level in second year

Nearly 13 percent of pupils who took the final primary education test (Cito test) in 2005 continue their education at a higher level in the so-called brugklas (which aims to bridge the gap between primary and secondary education) than the result of the Cito test allows.

More women to obtain doctorate

In recent years, the number of people obtaining a doctorate has increased in the Netherlands, particularly among women.

Schools do not save up operating surplus

Although schools in secondary and tertiary education often have an operating surplus at the end of the year, they do not always save it up. Most schools use the money to invest in buildings or equipment.

Almost as many higher as lower educated Dutch

Between 2001 and 2007, the proportion of higher educated people in the Netherlands has grown across all age categories. Last year, there were about as many higher as lower educated individuals in the Netherlands for the first time.

One quarter of primary and special needs schools invest capital

One quarter of primary and special needs schools invested a total of nearly 0.5 billion euro in 2006. Most of this capital was invested in bonds.

Children from one-parent families more likely to switch to lower school type

Eleven percent of pupils in the first year of one of the vocational tracks of preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo) who did not repeat a year had advanced to a higher type of education four years later

School/work combination also popular at older ages
Relatively many young women with a doctorate

At the end of 2005 72 thousand people in the Netherlands had a PhD. This is less than one in a thousand people.