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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main providers


8.Adult education and training

8.3Main providers

Last update: 27 November 2023

Basic skills education and training - Amendment to the law

The Adult and Vocational Education Act was amended in 2015. Under the new arrangements, municipalities are empowered to offer more customized schemes for illiterate adults (see above, Adult and Vocational Education Act). In addition, promoting reading skills and combating functional illiteracy are a significant addition to the core functions of reading, literature, information and education in the law on public libraries: the Public Libraries System Act (only in Dutch available).

The government’s emancipation policy is aimed at boosting the economic independence of functionally illiterate women, including through the EVA (‘Education for Women with Ambition’) project.

Vocational and adult education institutions

In 2020, the Dutch vocational education and training sector (for initial students and adults) consisted of 42 regional education and training colleges, 10 agricultural colleges and 11 specialist colleges, and two ‘other institutions’ (including centres for the deaf and schools with a faith-based ethos).

The number of providers has remained relatively stable by law, centers of expertise are tasked with developing a qualification structure for secondary vocational education, monitoring the examinations of education providers, finding new placement providers (where students get practical training in a trade or profession), and monitoring the quality of the placement providers.