Education minister sets an example
It is not every day the education minister's school report gets into the news. Minister Halbe Zijlstra launched an initiative today to improve education by showing what good marks he had on his own report.
The government is pushing for better quality higher education. It also wants to see more effort from students. In the future, colleges and universities will be expected to concentrate on their best subjects and drop their weaker ones.
Higher education institutions will be allowed to select students in the future; at present anyone who passes their finals at secondary school has a right to a college place.
The government wants to limit the number of exams students can resit. Colleges will also be allowed to ask for higher fees for special courses. The minister also wants students to finish their degrees more quickly. Dutch students generally take longer than the stipulated number of years to complete their degrees.
Job opportunities will also play a major role in the future. The minister wants to see more interaction between employers and colleges to determine what kinds of graduates the labour market needs.
Colleges and universities which comply will be rewarded. The minister has set aside 310 million euros until 2015 to improve education.
The national student union LSV fears students will have less choice and poorer students may be put off higher education.
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