In heterosexual relationships, men are still the more highly educated, even though this inequality has slightly decreased over the last thirteen years. The fact that young women are catching up is illustrated by figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Moreover, an increasing number of both men and women are benefiting from a higher level of education. The number of women with a master degree from a university or a university of applied sciences almost doubled between 2003 and 2016: from 5.9 to 10.5 per cent. For men, the increase was slightly lower, from 10 to 13 per cent.

Small differences

In heterosexual relationships, it is still the men who are more highly qualified. Particularly in the case of older couples, it is more normal for women not to be as highly educated as their male partners.

Frequently, this only relates to a small educational disparity: for example, the man might have a university master degree while the woman has a bachelor degree from a university of applied sciences.

However, the figures also illustrate that couples frequently share the same educational level. Women between 25 and 35 years of age are faring better than the older members of their gender: slightly more than one third of them are more highly educated then their partners. While for women over 65 this figure is only 14 per cent.

And not only are women increasingly more highly educated, but they also drop out of their studies less than their male equivalents and manage to graduate in a shorter period.