The Netherlands is the third most educated country in the world, according to the World Economic Forum, which ranked countries as part of its Global Competitiveness Report recently.
It is only surpassed by Singapore and Finland. “Quality higher education and training is crucial for economies that want to move up the value chain beyond simple production processes and products,” the report which was released earlier in October reads.
“In particular, today’s globalising economy requires countries to nurture pools of well-educated workers who are able to perform complex tasks and adapt rapidly to their changing environment and the evolving needs of the production system.”
Countries are measured in terms of their secondary and tertiary enrolment rates, as well as the quality of education as evaluated by business leaders. The extent of staff training is also taken into consideration, because of the importance of vocational and continuous on-the-job training, neglected in many economies, to ensure constant upgrading of workers’ skills.
According to the OECD almost a third of Dutch adults between 25-64 years old hold a university degree, which is significantly higher than the OECD average of 24%.
Furthermore, young Dutch people have a more promising outlook than their counterparts across the OECD countries: The Netherlands has the lowest percentage of young people in employment, education or training of all OECD countries.
The Global Competitiveness Report is built on 12 pillars:
Institutions (a country’s legal and administrative framework within which individuals, firms and government interact)
- Macro-economic environment
- Health and primary education
- Higher education and training
- Labour market efficiency
- Financial market development
- Technological readiness
- Market size
- Business sophistication
The Netherlands is also the fourth most competitive country in the world, according to the report, scoring highly on quality of scientific research institutions (4th) and closeness of links between universities and the private sector (5th). Success stories of social innovation are particularly frequent in the Netherlands and the country has low levels of corruption.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press