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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

Last update: 28 November 2023

Special feature

A distinctive feature of the Dutch education system is that it combines a centralised education policy with decentralised administration and management of schools. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap) lays down statutory requirements for early childhood educationprimary and secondary education and secondary vocational education. It also lays down the framework within which higher education institutions (universities of applied sciences or HBO institutions and universities) have to operate, but it is the responsibility of the competent authority of each institution to expand on the government framework in the teaching and examination regulations (paragraph 6.2). The aim of the Appropriate Education Act (Wet op het passend onderwijs) (2014) is that all children are placed in a school that fits their qualities and capacities.


The National Programme Education (Nationaal Programma Onderwijs) was launched in 2021 and is aimed at the recovery and development of education, catching up on study delays and the support of pupils and students during and after the corona crisis (paragraph 6.3).

New school curricula for (special) primary and secondary education are prepared. They must adequately match developments in society and education and create more coherence between the various educational objectives (paragrapgh 6.10).

The Equal Opportunities Alliance (Gelijke Kansen Alliantie) (only in Dutch), is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (2016). The alliance promotes equal opportunities in education for all children. A corresponding programme exists since 2018: Investing in equal opportunities (Investeren in gelijke kansen) (paragraph 6.6).

Government (Rijksoverheid) has initiated three websites to stimulate digital citizenship of young people, being maintained by the Dutch Media Literacy Network:, and (paragraph 6.8).