The successful school


The book ‘The successful school” offers a thorough, objective and clear view of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking education in our country. It is distinguished by its economic perspective on education, and taking recent figures and facts as a starting point.

In a context of increasing heterogeneity in the pupil population, the book focuses on the dual task of education: excellence and social mobility. It makes use of international comparisons, and refers to proven evidence abroad.  In this way it comes to some surprising findings, such as the disturbing connection between the functioning of the social lift and inequality at school, or between the functioning of the social lift and success at school.

The book also touches on a number of fundamental themes that highlight it from an original perspective: equal opportunities, social mix, early school leaving, connection to the labor market, financial education and the financing of compulsory education.  A comparison is made between the Dutch-language and the French-language educational system for each theme, with some concrete policy proposals at the end of each chapter.

This book is available in French or Dutch.


Kristof De Witte

Kristof De Witte is visiting fellow. He’s Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration from the University of Leuven and professor through the Chair ‘Effectiveness and Efficiency of Educational Innovations’ at Maastricht University. Kristof De Witte is also an affiliate member of the CESifo Network (Ludwig-Maximilians-University and Ifo Institute). At the KU Leuven he coordinates the Teacher Training Economics and has been director of the faculty’s research ‘Leuven Economics of Education Research’ (LEER). His research interests include education economics, performance measurement and school dropout. He published his work in numerous international magazines.

Jean Hindriks

Jean Hindriks obtained his BA, MA and PhD in Economics at the University of Namur. A former lecturer in economics at the University of Exeter and at Queen Mary, University of London, he is currently professor in Economics at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). He also served as co-director of Centre of Operations Research and Economics (CORE) and as director of Undergraduate Studies in Economics and Management at the UCL. A co-editor of several academic journals and a member of the International Monetary Fund’s panel of fiscal experts, he has published widely and internationally on issues of public economics and political economy. He was à member of the pension reform commission 2020-2040 and is now member of the pension academic council.