June 25, 2007

‘Excellentie voor Productiviteit?’

De beste Nederlandse leerlingen en studenten niet bij wereldtop

Press release
De beste Nederlandse leerlingen en studenten scoren op internationale vaardigheidstoetsen lager dan hun tegenhangers in een aantal andere landen. De zwakkeren in Nederland doen het internationaal vergeleken daarentegen heel goed, waardoor Nederland gemiddeld genomen toch hoog scoort.

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An empirical analysis of the Dutch skill distribution reveals that the Netherlands is not positioned among the best-performing countries at the right-hand side of the distribution. On average, the Dutch skill level is high, but this level is mainly based on the relatively high skill level at the left-hand side of the skill distribution.

The Dutch position declines when moving to the right-hand side. At the very highest skill level, the Netherlands is not among the best of the world. This is true for both secondary education and higher education. The Dutch share of graduates from higher education is also not among the highest in the OECD. The findings on the skill distribution are robust for several skill surveys, age groups and over time. This robustness may be the result of the structure of the Dutch educational system. The findings indicate that there is scope for improvement of skills at the right-hand side of the distribution. Therefore, policies that raise the Dutch performance at high- and top skill levels in higher education or in earlier stages of education may improve Dutch productivity. Further research is needed to assess these policies.

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