Dutch Students’ Passing Rate Drops

Dutch Students’ Passing Rate Drops

The proportion of pupils in secondary education who opt for higher general secondary education (havo) or pre-university education (vwo) is growing, according Statistics Netherlands. The shift from preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo) to higher types of secondary education is not just positive. In the period 2005/’06-2009/’10, the pass rates for havo and vwo pupils dropped by 4 percentage points.

In the school year 2009/’10, nearly 85 thousand pupils in secondary education took the havo or vwo exam, an increase by 10 thousand relative to 2005/’06. The number of exam candidates for the lower vmbo tracks, i.e. the basic vocational track and the advanced vocational track, on the other hand, declined by 7 thousand.

Poorer results for havo and vwo pupils
In 2009/’10, vmbo exam pupils performed best. In the basic vocational and advanced vocational track, 95 percent of candidates passed the final exam and in the theoretical and combined vmbo track the pass rate was 94 percent. The havo and vwo pass rates were 85 and 89 percent respectively. The pass rates in these higher types of secondary education were below the 2005/’06 level.

Since school year 2011/’12, stricter exam requirements prevail. As a result, havo, vwo and vmbo pass rates may be below the level of the preceding years.

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