The Netherlands is a small country in the North West of Europe. The population is approximately 14.5 million and the official language is Dutch. There are 12 years of compulsory schooling. In the post-war years from 1945 until 1960 one of principal functions of education was seen to be as part of the economic regeneration. This investment in the skills and knowledge of the emergent population was seen as contributing to the economic boom experienced in the Netherlands from 1960 to 1975.