Amsterdam is investing millions into better managing the ever increasing number of people in the city, both residents and visitors, and into improving quality of life in the city, Finance alderman Udo Kock announced with the publication of the city's budget plans for 2017.
Dutch 15-year-olds are happy with their lives and perform well in school and sports, according to a three yearly study by te Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which Education State Secretary Sander Dekker sent to parliament on Wednesday. Dutch teens give their lives an average score of 7.8, putting the Netherlands in second place for life satisfaction in a list of 35 countries from around the world. Finland came in first, Switzerland came in third.
Studying in Amsterdam seems to be becoming increasingly only for the "white elite", according to student union ASVA and Amsterdam United. Especially young people with financially less well-off parents and young people with a non-Western background have a hard time getting into higher education in the Dutch capital, Metro Nieuws reports.
"Education is increasingly only for the white elite. Action must be taken now", Henriette Hoogervorst, chairman of ASVA, said to the newspaper.
About a third of kids in group 8 score higher in their final test than the level at which their school estimated them, according to a report by the Education Inspectorate. For 13 thousand kids, about one in five students, this led to a an adjusted high school advice last year. The Inspectorate noticed that especially kids of highly educated parents end up getting a better advice as these parents are more insistent about it and are more likely to get tutors for their children, AD reports.
Primary school teachers in the Netherlands are demanding higher salaries and smaller class sizes. If the new government does not address both these issues in their coalition agreement, the teachers will strike for a week. "The willingness to act is greater than ever before", Jan van de Ven, teacher in Overloon and spokesperson for primary school teacher action group PO in Actie, said to newspaper AD. The strike will be "probably in September, and not in a nice week that matches with the holiday."
The Education Inspectorate for the first time compared Dutch schools and their students' results and found major differences. The Inspectorate concluded that a student's performance strongly depends on the type of school the child attends. Minister Jet Bussemaker and State Secretary Sander Dekker of Education call the situation worrying, NOS reports.
A number of Protestant and Roman Catholic schools in The Hague are scaling back on the Christian character of their Easter celebrations in consideration of their non-Christian students. Leaders of Christian schools in The Hague's multicultural neighborhoods feel it is better to adjust their Easter celebrations to accommodate their mainly non-Christian student bodies, AD reports.
Eight in ten Dutch think that there are high tensions between different population groups in Dutch society, such as between people of different religions or between people with and without an immigration background, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. Less than half experience these tensions in their own lives.
The number of former Dutch students having problems paying the monthly repayment on their student loans is approaching 100 thousand, education agency DUO confirmed to NU.nl. Their income is too low for a mandatory monthly installment to be imposed on them, according to the news site.
In 2009 around 30 thousand former students could not afford to pay the monthly installment on their study loans. In 2015 that increased to around 90 thousand and last year the number was close to 100 thousand. Final figures are not available yet.
When the basic study grant was abolished, the government promised that the money saved would be invested in education. The government is failing to live up to that promise, according to student organizations ISO and LSVB, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to the organizations, in the year 2000 the government spent nearly 20 thousand euros for each student at university. In 2025 that amount will be only 14,300 euros. There is also a decline for students attending colleges.
It seems that highly educated Dutch tend to vote more progressively. According to a study by the Erasmus University Rotterdam's Erasmus Magazine, if only votes cast at polling stations located at colleges and universities in the parliamentary election last month, the D66 and GroenLinks would together have more than half of the parliamentary seats. While the VVD, PVV and CDA together only got 24 percent of the votes.
Last year a total of 54.720 students repeated a year in high school or failed their final exam, according to figures from education agency DUO. That amounts to 5.7 percent of the total number of high school students, compared to 5.4 percent the previous year, AD reports
The increase in the number of repeaters is a break with the downward trend that started in 2012. Between 2012 and 2015 the number of repeaters fell from 6.5 percent of high school students to 5.4 percent.
A record number of 112 thousand foreign students are currently enrolled at Dutch universities and colleges, according to a study by Nuffic - the Dutch organization for the internationalization of education, ANP reports.
Primary school teachers are demanding the same salary as their colleagues in secondary education with a grade two teaching qualification, according to a manifesto written by action group PO in Actie. They want the next government to release money specifically for increasing salaries and decreasing workload for primary school teachers, the Volkskrant reports.
An increasing number of children with complex psychological or physical problems can't find a school that will accept them. The number of exemptions from education increased from 3,107 in the 2010/11 school year to 5,537 in the 2015/16 school year, according to research by the Ministry of Education, AD reports.
The Ministry found that there is a striking increase in exemptions for 16- and 17-year-olds with autism, anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression or trauma.
The number of Dutch 15-year-olds that have trouble reading is increasing at an alarming rate, according to a report by the Foundation for Reading and Writing. Currently 18 percent, about one in six, Dutch 15-year-olds can't follow the subtitles of a movie or understand the content of a letter from the municipality or school. In 2012 it was 13.8 percent, AD reports.
Amsterdam got 12th place on Mercer's annual list for the best city to live in. Vienna came in 1st place, the eighth year in a row that the Austrian capital topped the list, RTL Nieuws reports.
Consulting firm Mercer assessed the cities on quality of life by looking at factors such as infrastructure, healthcare, education and crime rate.
The national student loan debt is at its highest level ever, according to figures from education organization DUO. In total students and former students currently owe 17.6 billion euros to the state, compared to 12 billion euros five years ago, the Telegraaf reports.
On Wednesday student organization ISO launched a National Study Debt Meter to keep track of the increasing study debt. "The projected increase for the coming year is about 55 euros per second", ISO president Jan Sinnige said to the newspaper.
The British School of Amsterdam bought the former prison on Havenstraat in Oud-Zuid. The 19th century prison building will be converted into a school for 1,200 kids between the ages of 3 and 18 years, Het Parool reports.
The school signed the final purchase agreement with the municipality of Amsterdam last month. The renovations will start in the spring of 2018 and the school is expected to open in 2020 at the latest.
The Dutch university and college courses with limited space received more than twice as many applications than they have space. The limited enrollment courses at Dutch tertiary education institutions have space for about 20 thousand students. They've received almost 47 thousand applications, the Telegraaf reports.
Refugee and asylum children in the Netherlands do not have the same educational opportunities as children born in the Netherlands, the Education Council wrote in advice presented to parliament on Thursday. "Children's right to education should be leading int he asylum procedure", said Henriette Maassen van den Brink, chairwoman of the council, Trouw reports.
Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.
Education Minister Jet Bussemaker and State Secretary Sander Dekker plan to make it easier and quicker for kids to move from preparatory vocational school (VMBO) to vocational school (MBO) with a new law that contains a number of measures.These include allowing kids in VMBO to already take MBO classes and scrapping the intermediate exam before advancing, ANP reports.
The Education officials announced their new law for a so-called continuous learning routes in a letter to parliament on Monday.
Both the PvdA and D66 promise to invest more money into education in their respective election campaigns. The PvdA set 5 billion euros aside for education and promises substantial salary increases for teachers and a lighter workload. The D66 assigned 4.5 billion euros to education and wants more teachers and smaller classes.