"Van Dijk was 13 years old when he started dealing in textbooks"
In 1927, W.C. van Dijk attended the Dutch Reformed School for Pre-University Education in Kampen. He was 13 years old and had just been promoted to the second grade. He tried to sell the books he no longer needed at school, and he bought second-hand copies of the books he would need in the next year. Van Dijk did well with his book trade among the small circle of high-school students. He even had a few books left, and thought he might later be able to sell them at a profit. His stock grew from one little shelf to an office full, and this is how the Overijssels Boekhuis started.
Van Dijk’s Boekhuis
In 1937, W.C. van Dijk opened the first outlet of the Overijssels Boekhuis at Broederstraat in Kampen. In those days, Van Dijk changed the name of Overijssels Boekhuis to Van Dijk's Boekhuis. In 1962, sons L.H. van Dijk (Lammert) and J.G. van Dijk (Jan) followed in their father’s footsteps. In 1963, Van Dijk's Boekhuis was recognized as a new book store and the business grew also because of the sale of new textbooks.
1968 Secondary Education Act
In 1968, the Secondary Education Act (“WVO”) – also known as the Mammoth Act due to the number of issues it covered – created a chaos in the textbook market. The basic idea behind the “WVO” was that every student would have to attend both a general and a vocational secondary training program. As a result, Van Dijk's Boekhuis was flooded with new titles. They responded to that and kept both second-hand and new books in stock for nearly every course. To achieve an efficient and prompt handling of orders, the business became highly automated.
Van Dijk Studieboeken
In 1993, the Van Dijk family withdrew from the book trade and a successor was found outside the family. Wiet de Bruijn became the CEO. In 1995, the system of block-grant funding was introduced into secondary education. School boards received government funding on the basis of the number of enrolled students, which gave them more freedom to set their own priorities regarding the way they organized their educational programs. That year, the name of Van Dijk's Boekhuis was also changed to Van Dijk Studieboeken. The store closed its doors and, from then on, customers received their orders by post. In 1997, Van Dijk Studieboeken started its own website.
Van Dijk Educatie
Since 2003, some 25 businesses have been taken over, including De Ruiter & Fanoy, selexyz (now studystore), Studieboekencentrale, Lisette Werter (secondary education), IT Department, De Digitale Klas (now Van Dijk Innovatie) and the Belgian StandaardBoekVerhuur (now VDB). In 2005, Hans van der Wind became CEO, and Van Dijk Studieboeken was changed to Van Dijk Educatie. Under the leadership of Hans van der Wind, sales realized by Van Dijk Educatie rose from approx. 50 million euros to approx. 300 million euros. Van der Wind has also been closely involved in various initiatives such as the foundation of De Nederlandse School, a new academic teacher training program.
2011 Free Textbooks Act
In May 2008, the Free Textbooks Act (“WGS”) was adopted by the Upper House of Parliament. Until then, parents used to buy or rent textbooks for their children. The WGS stipulates that secondary schools make study materials available to students free of charge. Based on a lump-sum payment, school are now individually responsible for their procurement of textbooks and, in the process, they are bound by European tendering rules.
In 2012 Van Dijk Educatie moved into their present premises in Kampen, which was then greatly expanded by adding a distribution center. Currently, Van Dijk Educatie is the largest supplier of study materials and ancillary services in the Netherlands and Belgium. Each year, we supply over 13 million textbooks, 4 million digital licenses, and study materials to students in general secondary education, senior vocational education, higher professional education, and university education, and to the corporate sector. At our branches in Kampen, Emmen and Amsterdam, we have a workforce of over 400 people. In the high season, this number is increased by approx. 3,500 temporary workers.
EN – Van Dijk Educatie becomes The Learning Network
In 2016 Van Dijk Education was acquired by TowerBrook. As a result, Van Dijk Education is even better able to boost the digitization of education. With this new phase also fits a new name. From 2017, Van Dijk Education continues as The Learning Network. This new name focuses on learning. And does justice to our dual networking function; The Learning Network is a special network of educational brands and always open to new collaborations with others.