The history of SIO

In 1953 the municipality of The Hague founded The Stichting Internationaal Onderwijs (SIO). This initiative was financially supported by international companies like Shell, Philips and Unilever. The intention was to establish a new international school from joint cooperation of a Dutch school and several international schools, which were already operating in the region.

Although these initial plans did not materialise, the Foundation for International Education continued to support international schools in a financial way and to provide information about international education. In those years and up until the seventies, international education in the Netherlands was predominantly concentrated in the region of The Hague and Amsterdam.

In 1983 the government started to fund international departments for three Dutch schools located in The Hague, Hilversum and Eindhoven. From this moment on SIO was involved at a national level with regards to the furthering international education in The Netherlands.

SIO was also at the forefront of incentives encouraging more schools to offer international primary and secondary education.

The number of Dutch schools with international departments continued to increase. SIO started to involve MBO-schools (senior secondary vocational education), offering education in English in addition to international primary and secondary education.

As part of the broader scope, SIO was and continues to act as a consultative platform on the internationalisation of Dutch education.