The Netherlands is the OECD country with the largest
number of pupils in private schools. Education is compulsory
for children and adolescents between five and 16 years. The
educational system is characterized by great freedom of
Organization of education in the Netherlands
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research has
overall responsibility for education. Local authorities are
responsible for running the public schools, while private
schools are managed by the board of the organization or
foundation that created them.
There is a constitutional right to establish private
schools. In addition, Article 23 of the Constitution lays
down a great deal of freedom in the organization of
teaching, and allows for teaching based on religious
beliefs, ideological beliefs or educational preferences.
Schools with a religious or ideological view can deny
students access if the parents do not share the school's
beliefs. Approved private schools receive funding from the
authorities on par with the public schools. In 2009,
two-thirds of all the country's 15-year-olds attended
private schools. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Netherlands.
Both primary and secondary education are free. School
books and teaching materials are covered by the public, but
equipment such as dictionaries and calculators must be
covered by the guardians.
Children must start school on the first school day of the
following month after the fifth year of school. However,
most children start school when they are four years old. As
many elementary schools have waiting lists, it is important
to apply for space early to secure parental preferences. The
primary school lasts for eight years.
According to the curriculum, all primary schools must
teach Dutch, English, mathematics, environmental and social
studies, physical education and creative subjects (for
example, drawing, music and design). The schools can choose
whether they want to offer their own subjects in French,
German and religion.
Primary schools themselves can choose how they want to
report on pupils' progress, but each student receives
written feedback at least once a year at the end of the
school year. Some schools choose to report progress by using
grades while others provide written feedback. Parents are at
risk of being fined if children are away from school without
the school being notified.
The school system does not differentiate between
secondary school and high school. Higher education includes
four-year vocational preparatory training, five-year general
vocational training and six-year university preparatory
training. The high schools offer several of the fields of
study. Higher vocational preparatory education and general
vocational schools qualify for college education.
In the wake of the Bologna process, bachelor's and
master's degree programs were introduced in 2002. Students
must pay about 1900 euros in tuition fees each year.
According to the OECD, 41 percent of the population aged
30-34 had higher education in 2011.
The Netherlands has 43 colleges and 13 universities. The
oldest and most prestigious are the universities of Leiden
(founded 1575), Groningen (1614), Utrecht (1636) and