The academic quality of the International School Utrecht (ISU) is of utmost importance.
Of the international parents that stay in the Netherlands between 1 and 3 years, 83% will send their children to international primary schools (up to 6 years). For families staying 5 to 10 years, as many as 67% register there. For middle and senior schools (Year 6 and above), this jumps to 97%, according to a report*. Out of the children attending an international school, 67% of them have siblings attending the same school. As a result, the goals of both parents and the school are aligned for long periods of time, and for multiple children in any one international family.
The academic quality of the school is of lasting impact on these international children, as they spend a large part of their childhood preparing themselves for higher education elsewhere in the world. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program emphasises academic quality further, raising children as critical thinkers and continuous learners.
Specifically for ISU, both points above are valid, and additionally, ISU’s mission states that “we continuously strive for academic excellence in the delivery of this programme".
The growth of the school from 54 students in 2012 to 900 in April 2021, combined with the uncertainties around campus location, have distracted from investments in didactic quality. Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic is challenging the academic progress of the children.
ACADEMIC SOUNDING BOARD
As a result, we have joined forces to create the Academic Sounding Board (ASB), which will encourage ISU to improve the academic quality of the curriculum by seeking to initiate an academics improvement plan and establish an academic excellence framework to guarantee continuous learning.
This sounding board also aims to be the point of contact for all kinds of brainstorming, and to provide clear and honest communication among all parties. The ASB would like to make sure that the IB philosophy to "encourage both personal development and academic achievement challenging students to think critically, to ask the right questions and think across disciplines. An IB education also fosters diversity, curiosity and a healthy appetite for learning" is implemented to its fullest.
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*Ministerie van OC&W: Onderzoek toegankelijkheid Nederlands onderwijs voor internationals by Decisio