The economic affairs ministry and The Hague and Amsterdam city councils are to invest a total of €10.7m to create an extra 1,150 places at international schools.
Half of the cash will come from central government and the rest from the local councils. According to the Parool, Amsterdam’s contribution is around €4m.
The aim of the investment is to ensure that the Netherlands remains popular with international companies.
‘Foreign firms are responsible for some 900,000 jobs. Good international education is an important factor for these firms in deciding where to locate,’ said economic affairs minister Henk Kamp. ‘The children of foreign workers are often dependent on international schools for their education.’
The number of children attending international schools has gone up by 47% over the past five years, the ministry said. In Amsterdam in particular long waiting lists are beginning to have an impact.
‘Every time I talk to companies in London or elsewhere, the issue comes up,’ Amsterdam alderman Kajsa Ollongren told the Parool. Amsterdam has its own plans to boost the number of school places for foreign pupils by 7,000 by 2020.
‘We have a three-pronged approach: expanding existing international schools, encouraging new players and making ordinary schools more international,’ she said.
Research carried out by international community platform ICAP earlier this year showed that just over half of international families in the Netherlands want to send their children to an ordinary Dutch school.
Only 31% of the 700 people who took part in the survey got any financial help from their employers to pay for an international school place.
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