Tracking students in secondary education : consequences for student performance and inequality

R.A. Korthals

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This dissertation examined whether the classification of secondary school pupils into different academic levels (e.g. VMBO (preparatory secondary vocational education), HAVO (senior general secondary education), VWO (pre-university education)) improves academic performance and whether it influences the academic opportunities. For instance, we found that pupils who are about to transition to HAVO or VWO perform better at VWO level and that pupils with highly educated parents receive better academic advice from their teacher in group 8 than their academic performance warrants. We also found that early learners are often categorised at a lower academic level than late learners, and even more so in countries with early selection criteria. This additional misallocation in countries with early selection has little impact on the long-term outcomes like final academic level or salary scale.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Dronkers, Jaap, Supervisor
  • Borghans, Lex, Supervisor
Award date18 Jun 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs978-90-5321-536-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • academic level
  • academic performance
  • inequality

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