Experienced equipment in language, social and civic competences

The Dutch education system aims to provide pupils and students with the knowledge, insights and skills they need now and in the future to function well in society on a personal, social and professional level. To this end, basic competences such as language, arithmetic and citizenship (consisting of social and societal competences) are essential. Providing pupils, students, school-leavers and graduates with sufficient equipment for these basic competences is therefore one of the core tasks of education and should contribute to more equal opportunities in society.

Research shows that there has been declining learning performance in the field of language and citizenship competences in the Netherlands for years. Emphasis is often placed on the development and level of these competences within an education sector (e.g. in secondary education), but what is also important is that the development and level of these basic competences is linked between education sectors and on the labour market. However, acquired and demanded competences in further education or on the labour market do not always seem to match up. Transitions in the Dutch education system (e.g. po > vo, vo > mbo, etc.) are therefore not equally smooth for all pupils and students.  

Despite this declining learning performance and the fact that the connection of these basic competences is not (for everyone) equally smooth between the transitions in the system and to the labour market, there is little information available on the extent to which pupils and students in secondary education, vocational education and higher education and at the start on the labour market feel adequately equipped in terms of language and the social and societal competences. The aim of this study is therefore to gain insight into any bottlenecks in the perceived equipment of pupils and students at the transitions in the education system and in the outflow to the labour market in terms of language, social and societal competences.

Funded by: the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

Duration: January 2023 – May 2024

Partner organizations: ResearchNed, KBA and Expertisecentrum Nederlands.