Vocational education shrinks as more young people choose university

Higher professional education is expected to contract considerably in the coming years as more young people opt for university studies. And this could eventually lead to a decrease in the supply of vocational education, put pressure on national coverage and limit opportunities for students who choose this type of education, said Maurice Limmen, president of the Association of universities of applied sciences. Find.

Higher professional education (HBO) is expected to have about 10% fewer full-time undergraduate students in six years. This is partly due to demographic change – there will be fewer young people in the years to come. But the tendency to choose university over college also plays an important role.

“The trend towards increasingly higher education is visible around the world, but the way we have designed education in the Netherlands means that university education is considered the highest level here,” said Limmen. Formally, higher vocational education and scientific education are equal in the Netherlands. “But that’s not how they are perceived.”

Fifteen years ago, 20% of pre-university students opted for higher professional education. This has now dropped to 5 percent.

Limmen would like to expand study options within HBO, such as with his own masters or doctorate degrees. Track. “Our country desperately needs higher education professionals. In health, education, IT, construction and energy transition. But the overlap of university and higher professional education makes it difficult to develop HBO masters,” Limmen said. “We can get in each other’s way, but we work hard to avoid that.”

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