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Netherlands
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Netherlands
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In the Netherlands, men are as likely as women to pursue a vocational track. In 2019, 50% of upper secondary vocational graduates were men, compared to 55% on average across OECD countries.
  • In the Netherlands, 57% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2020 compared to 47% of their male peers.
  • In 2018, the Netherlands invested a total of USD 12 658 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 10 454 on average across OECD countries. This represents 5.2% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2019, 91% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in the Netherlands, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • Statutory salaries of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are 85% to 104% higher than those of teachers with the minimum qualifications at the start of their career at pre-primary (ISCED 02), primary and general lower and upper secondary levels in the Netherlands compared to 86% - 91% on average.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Attainment

    The proportion of 25-34 year-olds who have attained a general degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.6 %, rank 39/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate among 15-19 year-olds in Netherlands is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.5 %, rank 5/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (67.5 %, rank 5/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the enrolment rate of children under 3 is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 37/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 20-24-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (97.5 %, rank 3/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    Netherlands has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree before the age of 30. (43.8 %, rank 5/31 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation

    The share of doctorate graduates in public institutions is relatively high in Netherlands. (100 %, rank 1/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of first-time short-cycle graduates is relatively low in Netherlands. (2.5 %, rank 22/26 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of first-time bachelor's graduates is relatively high in Netherlands. (97.5 %, rank 3/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    In Netherlands, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (36.1 %, rank 42/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the share of female tertiary graduates in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.1 %, rank 5/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of male tertiary graduates in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics is relatively low in Netherlands. (28.6 %, rank 36/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by age

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from general programmes in Netherlands is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data (17.1 Years, rank 36/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the average age of first-time tertiary graduates is relatively low. (23.5 Years, rank 26/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the percentage of first-time bachelor's graduates younger than 30 is relatively high. (95.4 %, rank 3/31 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the percentage of first-time master's graduates younger than 35 is relatively high. (95.4 %, rank 2/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of education in Netherlands is relatively small. (1.2 %, rank 41/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23.9 %, rank 4/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Netherlands, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (9.7 %, rank 33/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of arts and humanities is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (57.2 %, rank 32/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of business, administration and law is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (46 %, rank 34/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In Netherlands, the proportion of international graduates among first-time short-cycle tertiary first-time graduates is relatively low. (0 %, rank 20/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    The annual training costs per participant are one of the highest across OECD countries and partner countries. (2660 %, rank 4/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high compared to other OECD countries and partner countries. (2.3 %, rank 5/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of 10-49 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (1.8 %, rank 4/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of ver 249 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (2.5 %, rank 5/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Adult participation in non-formal education

    In Netherlands, the proportion of employed adults participating in non-formal education and training is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (71.8 %, rank 3/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the proportion of adults employed in enterprises of 1-9 persons and participating in non-formal education and training is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (59.2 %, rank 4/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the proportion of adults employed in the private sector and participating in non-formal education and training is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (66.4 %, rank 2/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the proportion of adults employed in the public sector and participating in non-formal education and training is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (84.1 %, rank 3/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of employed adults participating in job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is relatively high. (62.3 %, rank 1/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the proportion of adults employed in enterprises of 1-9 persons and participating in job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (45 %, rank 3/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Netherlands, the international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on primary to tertiary education is high. (0 USD Equivalent, rank 2/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on tertiary education is relatively large . (0.1 %, rank 4/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively high in Netherlands. (940 Hours, rank 5/32 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (88 %, rank 39/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in general upper secondary education in Netherlands is relatively small. (54.3 %, rank 28/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in lower secondary education is especially low in Netherlands. (46.9 %, rank 33/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary among teachers aged between 25-64 is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (76004 USD Equivalent, rank 2/27 , 2020) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a lower secondary teacher with typical qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (81064 USD Equivalent, rank 3/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary male teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year men workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.84 Ratio, rank 5/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The salaries of 25-34 year-old general lower-secondary teachers relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in Netherlands. (1.05 Ratio, rank 4/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 25-34 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in Netherlands relatively compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (60027 USD Equivalent, rank 1/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 55-64 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in Netherlands. (84208 USD Equivalent, rank 2/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    The salary progression from the start to the top of the salary scale for a lower secondary school teacher is among the most rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.04 Ratio, rank 5/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for teachers with minimum training in primary education are especially high. (46042 USD Equivalent, rank 5/37 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Salaries of primary school teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (85315 USD Equivalent, rank 5/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Salaries of lower secondary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (70621 USD Equivalent, rank 4/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Primary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is low in Netherlands. (1.04 Ratio, rank 18/22 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average lower secondary school heads' actual salary is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (105514 USD Equivalent, rank 2/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the average actual salaries of 25-34 year-old lower-secondary school heads is relatively high compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (86678 USD Equivalent, rank 4/17 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 55-64 year-old lower secondary school heads is one of the highest in Netherlands. (108060 USD Equivalent, rank 3/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of lower secondary men school heads aged 25 to 64 is one of the highest in Netherlands. (105550 USD Equivalent, rank 2/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of lower secondary women school heads aged 25 to 64 is one of the highest in Netherlands. (105446 USD Equivalent, rank 2/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    In Netherlands, the number of students per teacher in general upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16 Ratio, rank 4/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the vocational upper secondary level is especially high in Netherlands. (18.6 Ratio, rank 4/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the number of students per teacher in public upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.6 Ratio, rank 5/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the number of students per teacher in all public secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16.8 Ratio, rank 5/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the number of students per teacher in all private secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18 Ratio, rank 5/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively high. (89.5 %, rank 3/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education is compartively high in Netherlands. (91.6 %, rank 1/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is compartively high in Netherlands. (84.3 %, rank 4/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (83.7 %, rank 4/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Employment by gender and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with tertiary education is compartively high in Netherlands. (90.8 %, rank 1/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (3.9 %, rank 39/42 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively low. (2.6 %, rank 42/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with tertiary education is low in Netherlands. (5.9 %, rank 42/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (3.2 %, rank 31/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with vocational upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (3 %, rank 32/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with vocational upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (3.4 %, rank 31/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Earnings, gender and educational attainment

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (among 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary education or post-secondary non-tertiary education and income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (84.3 %, rank 5/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (89 %, rank 4/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Neither in education nor employed

    The proportion of youth neither employed nor in education or training among 20-24 year-olds in Netherlands is relatively small. (8.2 %, rank 39/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The share of youth neither employed nor in education or training among 25-29 year-olds in Netherlands is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.2 %, rank 38/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of youth neither employed nor in education or training among 15-29 year-olds in Netherlands is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.2 %, rank 39/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the share of men neither employed nor in education among 15-29 year-olds is relatively low. (6.9 %, rank 38/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the share of women neither employed nor in education among 15-29 year-olds is relatively low. (7.5 %, rank 38/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Among 15-29 year-olds, the share of youth without an upper secondary degree who are neither employed nor in education or training in Netherlands is relatively low. (8.6 %, rank 37/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Among 15-29 year-olds, the share of youth without an upper secondary or post-secondary non tertiary degree who are neither employed nor in education or training in Netherlands is relatively low. (7.2 %, rank 37/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the proportion of youth with a tertiary degree who are neither employed nor in education or training among 15-29 year-olds is comparatively small. (4.3 %, rank 38/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Among 20-24 year-olds men in Netherlands, a small share of them are neither employed nor in education or training. (8.3 %, rank 37/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Among 25-29 year-olds men in Netherlands, a small share of them are neither employed nor in education or training. (7.8 %, rank 36/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the percentage of women neither employed nor in education or training among 20-24 year-olds is relatively low. (8 %, rank 38/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The share of young women neither employed nor in education or training (25-29 year-olds) in Netherlands is comparatively low . (10.7 %, rank 37/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 18-24 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively small in Netherlands. (7.6 %, rank 39/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 18-24 year-old men neither employed nor in education or training is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (8 %, rank 37/38 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 18-24 year-old women neither employed nor in education or training is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (7.3 %, rank 37/38 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Entrance

    In Netherlands, the average age of new entrants in bachelor's programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.8 Years, rank 34/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the percentage of first-time entrants into tertiary education younger than 25 is relatively high. (94.3 %, rank 3/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The average age of new entrants in tertiary education in Netherlands is comparatively young. (19.9 Years, rank 29/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the share of first-time entrants into bachelor's or equivalent programmes before the age of 25 is relatively high. (94.8 %, rank 4/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Netherlands, the share of first-time entrants into master's or equivalent programmes before the age of 30 is relatively high. (91.2 %, rank 3/38 , 2019) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • One in five adults across the OECD has not attained upper secondary education.
    • In 2020, the unemployment rate of adults that had not completed upper secondary education was almost twice as high as those with higher qualifications, and 27% of these adults earn only at or below half the median on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2019, at least 10% of school-aged youth were not in school in about a quarter of OECD countries.
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    • In 2019, women made up 55% of new entrants to tertiary education on average. If current patterns continue, it is expected that 46% of young women will graduate with a tertiary degree for the first time before they turn 30, 15 percentage points more than men.
    • Women also earn on average about 76-78% of men’s salaries regardless of educational attainment, although the gender gap narrowed by 2 percentage points between 2013 and 2019.
    • Women are less likely than men to enter a STEM field of study, and the average share remained generally stable between 2013 and 2019.
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    • On average across countries, expenditure on educational institutions amounted to approximately USD 9 300 per student at pre-primary level; USD 10 500 at primary, secondary and post-secondary non tertiary level; and USD 17 100 at tertiary level.
    • The public sector funds 90% of total expenditure on primary and secondary institutions on average, often compulsory in most OECD countries, compared to 83% at pre-primary level and 66% at tertiary level.
    • In 2018, the OECD countries spent on average 4.9% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on primary to tertiary educational institutions.
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    • In 2019, less than 5% of pre-primary teachers were men, compared to 18% at primary level, 40% at upper secondary level and more than 50% at tertiary level on average.
    • Between 2005 and 2020, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data for all reference years, the statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications increased by 3% at primary level, 4% at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 2% at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • Attracting male teachers to the profession can be difficult: While the average actual salary of female teachers is equal to or higher than the average salary of other full-time, tertiary-educated women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 76% and 85% of the average earnings of other full-time, tertiary-educated men.
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    • On average across OECD countries, 87% of children aged 3-5 are enrolled in education on average across OECD countries compared to 25% for children below the age of 3.
    • There are 15 children for every teacher at pre-primary level on average across OECD countries.
    • Half of children enrolled in early childhood development services and a two-thirds of pre-primary children attend public institutions on average across OECD countries
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - Netherlands

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    Key
    Country Reviews for Netherlands

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS averages. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2021 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.