An increasing number of international companies are deciding to come to the Netherlands. This has resulted in 47% more pupils at international schools. Due to this huge increase, many international schools have waiting lists. For the immediate problems with capacity, the government already offered extra money for the regions Eindhoven, Rotterdam/The Hague and Amsterdam. In order to solve the problems in the long term, a structural solution is needed.
Economic importance of international schools
Together, international schools have 19,000 pupils, which is 1% of the total number of pupils in primary and secondary education. From an economic point of view, this 1% is very important. The possibilities for children to attend international schools is an important factor for companies deciding in which country to establish their business. It is therefore economically important to increase the number of places available in international education.
Advice to the government
The Taskforce Internationaal Onderwijs (Taskforce International Education) wrote an action plan for the government to provide solutions in the short term and medium terms. They have presented 16 action points in 7 different categories. The categories are:
- Predict the number of prospective pupils
- Ensure a good availability of international schools
- Establish guidelines for the number of m2 needed for international schools (which is higher than for Dutch schools).
- Arrange the financing of the school buildings
- Make it easier to hire foreign teachers
- Investigate the possibilities of regular Dutch education as an alternative
- Improve the transfer possibilities from international schools to Dutch universities and schools for medium level professional education (MBO)
Actions from the government
One advice is to invest annually €10 million in the next four years to support expansion of international schools. The next cabinet will decide this as currently there is no money with the one outgoing. All other action points will be implemented soon as possible.
You can read the full report on https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2017/06/13/voorbereid-op-de-toekomst (Dutch only)