Netherlands Education and Media

Netherlands Education and Media


Characteristic of the Dutch school system is the constitutionally anchored freedom of education as well as the central control by the responsible ministry for education, science and culture. There is the right to set up schools on the basis of religious, ideological or educational convictions; The number of schools with autonomous sponsorship is correspondingly large. Around two thirds of the pupils attend private (mostly church), only one third public (community) schools. General compulsory schooling begins at the age of 5; however, almost all children attend primary school from the age of 4. Compulsory schooling lasts 12 years; school attendance up to the age of 18 is free. After 8 years of primary school, the school system is divided into general secondary schools with preparatory courses (VWO) or higher general education (HAVO) and vocational secondary schools (VMBO). In the first 2-3 years of secondary education, however, all types of school provide so-called basic education in 15 subjects; these include Dutch, English, a second foreign language, math, computer science, science, history / politics, geography, economics, technology, art / music and sport. The VMBO degree (after 4 years) entitles to attend vocational school (MBO) with the four subjects of technology, business, health care and agriculture. The regional training centers are responsible for the MBO training. Their educational offer includes adult education in addition to vocational training. According to topschoolsintheusa, the HAVO degree (after 5 years) entitles you to attend the FH, the VWO degree (after 6 years) to study at the university. In the tertiary sector there are 14 universities and 44 state-funded technical colleges as well as numerous private educational institutions and a distance-learning university. From 2002 a tiered study system with the degrees Bachelor (3-4 years) and Master (5-6 years) was introduced.


Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are constitutionally guaranteed. – Press: the level of press concentration is high; the largest publishing groups include PCM Uitgevers, Wegener NV and the Telegraaf group. The daily newspaper with the highest circulation is the tabloid »De Telegraaf« (founded in 1893; conservative). In addition, »AD« (formerly »Algemeen Dagblad«, founded 1946), »De Volkskrant« (founded 1919; left-wing), »NRC Handelsblad« (founded 1970; liberal) and »Trouw« (founded 1943) appear nationwide. There are also large print runs of the free newspapers »Sp! Ts« and »Metro«. Various regional daily newspapers are also important, including “De Gelderlander”, “Dagblad van het Noorden” and “Dagblad De Limburger”. – News agency: Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANP, founded in 1934), a newspaper publishers’ cooperative. – broadcasting: The Netherlands has had a special public broadcasting system since the 1920s, in which the programs are designed by several independent broadcasting associations, each representing a particular social movement (Christian, political and social groups) and based on a corresponding membership. These include the Protestant Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging (NCRV, founded 1924), the Katholieke Radio Omroep (KRO, founded 1925), the social democratic Omroepvereniging VARA (founded 1925), the socially critical Omroepvereniging VPRO (founded 1926), the independent Televisie Radio Omroep Stichting, founded in 1964) and Evangelische Omroep (EO, founded in 1967). The umbrella organization is the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NOS). The NOS broadcasts six nationwide radio and three television programs. Furthermore, the independent public radio station Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (RNW) broadcasts a foreign program in several languages, the broadcaster “BVN-TV”, a joint product of NOS, RNW and VRT (Belgium), broadcasts an international television program. The public broadcasters have been facing stiff competition since 1989 from commercial providers, above all from the RTL Group with four TV channels and SBS with three TV channels.


With its strong export orientation (live animals, food and beverages provide 14.7% of total exports [2015]), agriculture represents an important economic basis. Arable land, 41.8% permanent grassland and 2.0% permanent and horticultural crops; 374 800 hectares are designated as forest. One of the leading branches of agriculture is commercial horticulture, which supplies high quality products for export. Vegetables and fruit are grown in the open air, and bulbs and flowers are raised. A considerable part of the special culture area is under glass. The main crops are potatoes (2014: 7.1 million t), wheat (1.3 million t), barley (197,000 t) and sugar beet (6.8 million t), as well as silage maize, tomatoes, apples, Onions and cucumbers. In agriculture, livestock husbandry is of paramount importance; it is entirely geared towards the processing industry such as the production of butter and cheese. Pig breeding and poultry farming are also important. (2014) 12.2 million pigs, 4.2 million cattle and 97 million chickens are kept.

The country can be divided according to agricultural production directions as follows: fruit growing in the river marshes, arable farming in Limburg, in the south-west of the country, in the fen colonies and in parts of the sea marshes, livestock farming in North Brabant, Drenthe and Gelderland, use of grassland (mainly by dairy cattle) in the West and northwest. Horticultural products are mainly produced in the west of the country. High productivity, made possible by intensive farming in the processing industry as well as the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides, leads to increasing pollution of the soil and increasing pollution of the ground and surface water.

Fisheries: The Dutch fishing fleet comprises around 1,100 vessels with a total tonnage of 192,000 GT. Mackerel, cod, haddock and herrings are mainly caught in the northern North Sea, the British Isles and Ireland. The coastal fishing with cutters is mainly crab fishing in Dutch, German and Danish waters. Molluscs are caught with special vehicles in the Wadden Sea and the Oosterschelde. The main fishing ports are Scheveningen (The Hague), IJmuiden (Velsen), Urk and Den Helder. Inland fishing supplies mainly freshwater eels.

Netherlands Education