Educational policy, the Netherlands

Solve for the equilibrium: Dutch higher education

 A bit off-topic but since we have discussed the topic before, here is a re-post from my personal  blog:

1) The number of first-year students in the Netherlands has soared from 105 000 in 2000 to 135 000 in 2011. The 30% increase is a direct result of government policy which links university funding with student numbers. In some programs in the country, student numbers have more than doubled during the last five years. Everyone is encouraged to enter the university system.

2) In the general case, there is no selection at the gate. Students cannot be refused to enter a program.

3) Now, the government’s objectives are to reduce the number of first-year drop-outs  and slash the number of students who do not graduate within four years. Both objectives are being supported by financial incentives and penalties for the universities.

Something’s gotta give. I wonder what…

P.S. ‘Solve for the equilibrium’ is the title of a rubric from Marginal Revolution.

Educational policy

Datapoints of the day

In Portugal,  32% of the adult population have at least an upper secondary degree. In the Czech Republic, 92% have one.

The data is for 2010 and is provided by EUROSTAT (and is discussed here).

I have graphed the figures for the European countries in the map below. An interesting pattern emerges with the Northern and the East European countries having the highest percentages. But I wonder to what extent these numbers represents real failures/successes of the secondary educational systems rather than different ways of setting up (and naming) the secondary education levels.

click to enlarge. The link to the map is here.

Educational policy, the Netherlands

Education and Integration: A Dutch Party Wants Fewer Foreign Students

The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) wants fewer foreign students to come to study in the Netherlands. According to Eric Lucassen (PVV) foreign students take the place of Dutch students. The Germans are singled out as the biggest problem. As a former foreign student in the Netherlands and a current teacher at a Dutch institution which prides itself in being a leading international research university my personal position on this issue should be self-evident. However, the problem with foreign students boils down to be the lack of student housing according to the PVV, and I can actually agree that (the lack of) student housing is a problem in some places. Still, the housing shortage is just an unintended side-effect of an otherwise successful edicational policy and any country should be happy to attract students from all over the world. The housing shortage should be addressed but not at the expense of building fences around Dutch universities.