Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 10:29
Fewer youths take gap year after student grants abolished
Taking a gap year immediately after the final exams was a less popular choice among newly graduated high school students in 2014-2015, according to Statistics Netherlands on Tuesday. The statistics office attributes this to the student grant being abolished and replaced with a loan system last summer. "Pupils who passed their final exams in 2014, saw the loan system coming. They thought: if I take a gap year now, I'll fall under the new system next year. Then traveling or working for a year becomes an expensive decision. They immediately start studying, so that they miss the implementation", the service explained. Statistics Netherlands expects that the number of students taking a gap year will pick back up to previous levels this year, given that pupils who pass their final exams will fall under the loan system whether or not they decide to start studying immediately. In 2014 about 45 thousand so-called "HAVO" pupils - General Secondary Education pupils - and about 32 thousand so-called "VWO" pupils - Pre-university Scientific Education students - got their diplomas. 83 percent of HAVO pupils and 80 percent of the VWO students went directly to university. In 2012 and the years before that, those percentages were 77 and 70 respectively. The group that chose to travel the world for a year fell from 18 percent to 9 percent among VWO students and from 15 percent to 9 percent among HAVO students.