International education

Demand for international education is growing strongly


The economic impact of international organisations in the Netherlands is large. Just think about all the new, created job opportunities when an international organisation, like the European Medicines Agency, decides to move to the Netherlands. When a foreign company settles in the Netherlands they are not only creating thousands of new jobs, they are bringing highly skilled employees with them as well. For instance, as the EMA settled in Amsterdam, more than 600 employees will relocate to the Netherlands. A lot of them will move to The Hague region. Why? The Hague region offers a large variety of international primary and secondary school options. Education plays an important role in the lives of internationals and is of crucial economic importance in attracting new business and organisations. In total, over 19.000 pupils go to an international school in the Netherlands, of which approximately half is funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Almost 45 per cent of the pupils go to an international school in The Hague region. The international schools themselves are large employers as well. The international schools in The Hague region employ more than 1.500 internationals and 500 Dutch staff.

As you might expect, with over 300 international organisations and 160 embassies and consulates in the Hague region, the demand for international education has grown rapidly in the last couple of years. As much as three-quarters of the international schools (both international primary education and secondary education) in The Hague are expecting to grow in the coming years! Unfortunately, there is a downside to all this growth. International schools increasingly have to put potential pupils on waiting lists. As education is of great importance to internationals, The Hague conducted an extensive research on the development needs of international education. In this article we will share an overview of the key findings.

International or Dutch education?

International or Dutch education, that is the question. Research shows companies contribute less and less to the schooling of the children of internationals. This, together with the growing capacity problems of international schools, is why internationals have a growing interest in regular Dutch education. Families who tend to stay here for a longer period of time, could benefit from this decision, as they are more likely to integrate in  Dutch society. If an international is uncertain about the length of their stay, Dutch education is not that logical a choice.

Expansion of international education

The coming period the International School of The Hague, European School of The Hague and HSV International Primary School will expand to meet the current demand. The same goes for the private British School. In 2018 a new International Waldorf School opened its doors in The Hague. Rijnlands Lyceum Wassenaar will welcome international students from September 2019. The International School Delft will start teaching at secondary level in September 2019.

But as mentioned before, the demand is growing rapidly. It is for exactly that reason why The Hague, Delft, Leiden and Wassenaar have more expansion plans for the near future and are starting up new initiatives to keep up with the growing needs.

VMBO & special education

Next to the expansion of primary and secondary education, research shows there is a growing need for international VMBO education. The same goes for an international school for children with a disorder, disability or development problem. The need to start a VMBO or special needs school are currently being determined.

More information

As parents experience a lack of information when it comes to (international) education in The Hague region, The Hague International Centre together with Expatcenter Leiden, will provide internationals with clear and concise information on the subject. We are starting with providing you with all the information you need for your child to thrive in The Netherlands, and in particular, in The Hague region. From daycare to university, you can find it all on our website.


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