Due to a baby boom in the corona year 2021, the number of zero-year-olds grew by more than 11 percent.
Due to a baby boom in the corona year 2021, the number of zero-year-olds grew by more than 11 percent.

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Shrinkage of primary education pupils will soon come to an end

Due to a baby boom, the contraction in primary education will turn into a small growth in 2025. Because more students move on to HAVO and VWO, both MBO and HBO are seeing an additional decrease in student numbers. This is evident from the recent estimates of the Ministry of Education.

De trends are used to draw up the education budget and, for example, to make new estimates of teacher shortages. The arrival of refugees from Ukraine, including a large number of children of compulsory school age, has not yet been included in the forecasts.

baby boom

The most important change is taking place in primary education. Due to a baby boom in the corona year 2021, the number of zero-year-olds grew by more than 11 percent. According to the CBS, this is the start of a structurally higher birth rate. In four years' time, these children will all be looking for a place at primary school.

More masters and teachers are needed for all those extra students

According to OCW estimates, pupil development in primary education will tilt earlier in 2025 than previously predicted. In that year there were 9.000 more students than has been calculated so far, in 2028 more than 30.000 more than originally expected. Instead of the previously predicted minus for primary education as a whole, there is therefore now a small plus in the forecasts for 2028.

More masters and teachers are needed for all those extra students, for which no predictions have yet been made. Based on the average class size, this means about five hundred extra full-time jobs in 2025, growing to two thousand in 2028. However, the registrations for the PABO fell in 2021 and the provisional figures for teacher training programs for next year are also in the red.

Different choice behaviour

With the growth of pupils in primary education, the number of children in special education is also rising faster than expected. The number of pupils in secondary education is still declining, but less than previously predicted. Because of a different choice behaviour, students continue to study for longer in secondary education. Because pupils from VMBO have been granted mixed/theoretically better transfer rights, they more often transfer to 4 HAVO after obtaining a diploma. The same applies to HAVO students, where the transfer to 5 VWO almost doubles.

The number of students in MBO is falling according to the forecast

The drop in pupil numbers and the changing choice behavior in secondary education are affecting MBO and HBO. Both sectors suddenly fell into the negative last year and that trend is continuing. According to the forecasts, the number of students in MBO will eventually fall by 2021 between 2028 and 37.000. HBO has to take into account on balance 28.000 fewer students in the same period. Scientific education continues to grow due to the increasing participation in pre-university education, as was already expected.

Primary and science education new growth sectors

2021 census Forecast 2028 Verschil
Primary education 1.371.000 1.372.000 0%
Total po 1.478.000 1.486.000 + 1 %
Total vo 934.000 906.000 -3%
Total MBO 502.000 465.000 -7%
Total HBO 491.000 462.000 -6%
Total Wed 342.000 401.000 + 17 %

Source OCW reference estimate 2022

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