OECD critical of higher education

15th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 May 2007, AMSTERDAM – The ministry of education does not have an adequate grip on higher education, according to a research team from the OECD.

15 May 2007

AMSTERDAM – The ministry of education does not have an adequate grip on higher education, according to a research team from the OECD.

"The government's capacity – and perhaps its desire – to provide leadership and shape the system in the best interests of the country seems to be underdeveloped."

The study will be sent to Parliament today. It has been ready since autumn but insiders say its publication was postponed to avoid release during the election period, the Volkskrant reports.

The report contains harsh criticism of members of the former government. "Some initiatives seem to have been taken in order to give the impression that something was being done, and not to actually provide real solutions for real problems," the report writes in reference to the Higher Education Act worked on by former state secretaries Rutte and Bruins.

Education Minister Plasterk wrote in a reaction that he takes some of the criticism to heart. He will present a long term agenda this autumn setting out what he thinks will be a more effective policy.

The OECD says that not enough students of minority background are in higher education. This is mainly due to the structure of secondary education.

Requiring children to choose a university track from the age of 12 leaves thousands of student out of the loop. There are few ways to get around this problem. Nor are there many opportunities for these individuals to enter higher education as adults; the "life long learning" philosophy is not working out as it should.

The OECD warns that "there is a real danger that education is reinforcing a social division along cultural lines."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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