24 May 2019 • HOP, Inge Schouten
Lower house wants more transitional programmes for students from universities of applied sciences
The Lower House finds it unacceptable that about 30 per cent of all university master’s degree programmes do not offer transitional programmes to students from universities of applied sciences. This endangers the accessibility of higher education.
Almost one in three research university master’s degrees is not available to students from universities of applied sciences, reported the Dutch Inspectorate of Education last month. There are great differences between the institutions: at half of the master’s degree programmes at Leiden University and Amsterdam University the doors are closed to students from universities of applied sciences, while in Eindhoven and Wageningen almost all master’s are accessible.
The Lower House wants to know from Minister Van Engelshoven how that is possible. From the point of view of equality of opportunity, a smooth transition from universities of applied sciences to research universities is important, according to political groups. Isn’t it time for a ‘committee on accessibility’ proposed D66.
For master’s degrees in the professions of health, language and culture and law in particular, many students from universities of applied sciences are not welcome. Furthermore, it is often small or very large masters that do not offer transitional programmes. The same applies for research master’s. Several political groups asked how the differences can be explained
Van Engelshoven said previously that she wants to clarify the legislation about transitional programmes so that students are aware of their rights and institutes know their obligations. But according to GroenLinks this offers little solace. The law is clear enough, and it simply needs to be followed. “Is the minister going to actively enforce that universities offer enough transitional programmes?”
Furthermore, according to Van Engelshoven, it is not the intention that universities of applied sciences students are not welcome in a master’s degree, by definition, but that does not mean that anyone can simply start a master’s degree. It only applies to students who can catch up on the knowledge they are lacking within a reasonable period. But who decides that? D66 wants to know from the minister. And who actually assesses the intake requirements?
GroenLinks thinks that more master’s degree programmes would offer a transitional programme if universities received money for it. The institutions currently cover the costs themselves. The SP, too, wants the minister to pay for the transitional programmes.
The Van Rijn committee is not in favour of that. This committee issued a recommendation last week for the re-allocation of the educational budget, in which it stated that institutions are jointly responsible for a good transition between sectors. To do so, they must join forces and find a solution, states Van Rijn.