Education at ISK

At the ISK, we offer education to students of about thirty different nationalities. All students are in the age group of 12 to 18 years old. The vast majority of our students is either asylum seeker or refugee. Some of our students have come to the Netherlands unaccompanied or separated from their family. Some students have experienced traumatic events. There are many differences between our students, both cultural and educational. Some of the students at the ISK will have to return to their country of origin when they turn 18 years old, because they have not qualified for a residence permit.

We currently offer education to around 300 students with varying backgrounds. A large number of students has a (temporary) residence permit and will move on to further education in the Netherlands. Another group of students has applied for asylum, but is not yet in possession of a residence permit or permanent accommodation. These students typically remain at our school for six months before transferring to another ISK in a different part of the country.

We educate students who

  • reside at a refugee center with their parents;
  • reside at accommodation for unaccompanied minors;
  • came to the Netherlands in the context of family reunification or formation;
  • come from the former Antilles Islands and have had their education in Papiamentu;
  • came to the Netherlands because one of their parents is in a relationship with a Dutch citizen.

On average, it takes our students two years to adequately integrate in Dutch society and cope with the Dutch language. Then they can move on to further education.

The educational program of the ISK focuses mainly on acquisition of the Dutch language and integration in the Netherlands. Additionally, students are offered the following subjects: Mathematics, English, Biology, Physical Education, Art and Drama.


A short overview of secondary education in the Netherlands:

Practical training (abbreviated in Dutch as Pro) is aimed at students aged 12 to 18 years old. This type of education is considered final education and does not result in obtaining a diploma. However, it is occasionally possible for students to move on to preparatory secondary vocational education.

Preparatory secondary vocational education (abbreviated in Dutch as VMBO) combines vocational training with theoretical education. VMBO has a duration of four years and is divided into three different levels:

“basic profession-oriented learning” (abbreviated as BBL)) emphasizes vocational training and prepares for vocational training at the MBO level of first or secondary education;

“middle management-oriented learning” (abbreviated as KBL) is composed of an equal amount of theoretical education and vocational training. It prepares for middle management and vocational training at the MBO level of tertiary education;

"theoretical learning”(abbreviated as TL) has the largest share of theoretical education. It prepares for middle management and the MBO level of tertiary education, and allows students to resume vocational training at HAVO level;

Senior general secondary education (known in Dutch as HAVO) has a duration of five years and provides access to higher professional education.

Pre-university education (known as VWO or Atheneum) has a duration of six years and provides access to academic education.

The names of the four profiles offered at the ISK are derived from these different levels of secondary education:

IN stands for ‘intake group’ (instroomklas in Dutch) and offers education during the first six weeks at the ISK;

PB is aimed at practical training (Pro), basic profession-oriented learning (BBL) and MBO level 1;

TK is aimed at theoretical learning (TL), middle management-oriented learning (KBL) and MBO level 2 and 3;

HA is aimed at senior general secondary education (HAVO), pre-university education (VWO) and MBO level 3 and 4.