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Netherlands:Historical Development

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

 

Freedom of education has been enshrined in the Dutch Constitution since 1848. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, elementary schools were divided into public schools funded by the government and private schools maintained from private sources. The unequal treatment of public and private education led to the ‘schools dispute’, a political battle to achieve complete equality under the law for both types of school. Catholics and Protestants wanted equal state funding for their own schools with a distinct Roman Catholic or Protestant stamp. The Liberals too wanted the freedom of education guaranteed by the Constitution to be reflected in equal financial treatment of public and private schools. This was finally achieved in the 1917 Constitution, in what is known as the ‘Pacification of 1917’. The statutory equality of public and private schools is an important feature of the Dutch education system. After 1917 the principle of financial equality was extended to secondary and higher education.

The first Compulsory Education Act was passed in 1900. It has been amended several times since then. In 1985 the lower age limit for compulsory schooling was lowered from six to five. Children must now attend school full time from the age of five for at least 12 full school years and, in any event, until the end of the school year in which they turn 16. In 1971 the legislation was extended to include an additional period of part-time compulsory education for young people under the age of 18. Following an amendment dating from 1 August 2007, under-18s who have finished their period of compulsory education are now required to continue their schooling until they obtain a basic qualification. The aim is to ensure that young people do not leave school without at least a HAVO, VWO or MBO level 2 certificate. They may obtain a basic qualification in full-time education, or in part-time education if they wish to combine their studies with work.

A significant step was taken in 1999, when the 29 European ministers of education signed the Bologna Declaration. The aim of the Bologna process is to ensure attractive and internationally competitive higher education through student and staff mobility. For mobility to be possible, Europe’s higher education systems have to be transparent. To this end, the participating countries have adopted a three-cycle system consisting of the degrees of bachelor, master and doctor. The different academic levels are thus clearly differentiated. In addition, the components of study programmes are weighted according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), in which 60 ECTS is the standard number of credits per academic year. Graduate competencies are described in terms of learning outcomes. Under legislation that entered into force in the 2002/2003 academic year, Dutch universities and institutions of higher professional education were given the option of introducing a bachelor-master system in order to strengthen their position in the international education market and respond more effectively to international trends.

Internationalisation is a significant feature of the Dutch education system. Before 1990 only a tiny minority of Dutch schools showed an interest in adding a European dimension to their teaching. However, in the early 1990s a series of national programmes was set up which, together with the more recent EU programme SOCRATES, led to a great many activities to promote internationalisation at Dutch schools. On 1 January 2007 Socrates became part of the Lifelong Learning Programme, which promotes knowledge exchange, cooperation and mobility between EU education and training systems. It is also designed to boost sustainable economic growth, create more and better jobs, strengthen the knowledge-based society and achieve greater social cohesion. In 2014 the Lifelong Learning Programme will become part of Erasmus+.

Membership of the European Union

After World War II, moves towards European integration were seen by many as an escape from the extreme forms of nationalism that had devastated the continent. In 1950 the Schuman Declaration was presented by Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer. The following year the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up when six countries – Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – signed the Treaty of Paris.

The ECSC was so successful that the decision was made to integrate other elements of the countries’ economies. In 1957 the Treaties of Rome were signed by the same six countries, creating the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC). Under the Merger Treaty (Treaty of Brussels) of 1967 the three European Communities merged and became known as the European Communities (EC). The Treaty of Maastricht, which was signed by all the EC members in 1992, signalled the birth of the European Union. It laid the foundation for further forms of cooperation on foreign and security policy, and justice and home affairs, and for the creation of economic and monetary union. The constitutional basis of the Maastricht Treaty was most recently amended by the Treaty of Lisbon (2009).