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The quality of vocational education (VET) and higher education in the Netherlands is currently good, but is it prepared for the future? The Minister for Education, Dr Robbert Dijkgraaf, initiated the Future Outlook 2040 program to reassess the goals and organization of education in the country. The program aims to create an integrated system that meets the demands of students, the labor market, and society in 2040. Important considerations include the impact of current trends such as internationalization, migration, aging, climate transition, technological innovations, and changes in the student population.

One key question is whether the traditional divisions between practical and theoretical/academic school types are still relevant. These demarcations may hinder integrated solutions and the ability to address social challenges effectively. The Greenwise Campus initiative, launched in 2022, exemplifies efforts to make education more sustainable and collaborative. However, this initiative maintains the traditional hierarchical order between VET and higher education, while the Future Outlook 2040 program seeks to integrate them into one school type. Discussions on this matter are ongoing, inviting contributions from all stakeholders.

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