2 July 2018 • HOP, Bas Belleman
Minister: concerned about the dropout rates of boys with immigrant backgrounds
Student dropout rates in higher education is a point of concern, said Minister Van Engelshoven on 25 June in the House of Representatives. “Especially the high dropout rates of boys with immigrant backgrounds.”
The Minister said this to the House of Representatives during a debate on the influential report De staat van het onderwijs (the state of education) in which the Educational Inspectorate warned of declining academic performance and increasing segregation.
The debate mostly centred around post-primary education, but other subjects were also discussed. The Minister believes that regional resources, which are targeted at improving the transition between lower secondary education and university of applied sciences, should also be used to tackle the dropout rates. The previous Cabinet allocated 7.5 million euros a year for this.
Change of direction?
It may signify a slight change of direction. During the previous government term, the Cabinet concentrated on children of less educated parents and students who are the first in their families to study. The students’ origins received less attention.
Senior secondary vocational education students do well if they go to a university of applied sciences. The real problems drop at the feet of boys and students with immigrant backgrounds. Fewer and fewer senior secondary vocational education students are going to universities of applied sciences. At the beginning of this year, Minister Van Engelshoven said that not all senior secondary vocational education students need to go to universities of applied sciences. But if this decline is due to ‘an uninformed choice’, however, this would ‘definitely be cause for concern’