8 July 2019 • HOP, by Inge Schouten
The University of Applied Sciences Study Guide will be published
Although the universities of applied sciences don’t want to assist in correcting the National Study Survey 2019, there will be a new edition of the Study Guide next year. There are numerous new data, including student evaluations.
Because of the new privacy legislation institutions are not allowed to share student data with third parties without permission. This caused problems when completing the National Student Survey (NSE), the annual satisfaction survey conducted by Stichting Studiekeuze123 among all higher education students. Almost 300,000 students completed the survey.
This time the students themselves had to indicate where and what they study. And this resulted in errors. However, these errors can be corrected if the educational institutions are willing to share their student enrolment data, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The research universities have agreed to assist, but the universities of applied sciences are unwilling to cooperate in correcting the 2019 NSE edition. What does this mean for the Study Guide, which is largely based on student evaluations?
Up to date
The 2020 Study Guide for University of applied sciences will be published no matter what, says chief editor Bas Belleman. “There are new figures about study success and new accreditation assessments from experts. For private universities of applied sciences, which are cooperating with us, we will also have new student evaluations. For the rest of the universities of applied sciences we will use last year’s student evaluations. We would prefer to have more current evaluations, but unfortunately these aren’t available.”
Minister Van Engelshoven would like all research universities and universities of applied sciences to participate in the NSE. Right now there are universities of applied sciences that consistently don’t participate at all, such as the Rietveld Academie. The minister wants to make participation mandatory. She is just completing a draft of the bill.
Justifiably so, states Belleman. “It seems strange that publicly funded institutions have the choice to not be compared. Participating in the NSE should be a prerequisite for accreditation. There is a reason why we greatly value student evaluations: the universities of applied sciences rely on these to evaluate practically every subject and every lecturer. So the NSE should be something obvious.”
There will be other changes in next year’s Study Guide. In response to the discussion around student stress and burn-out, we will map the ‘viability’ of a university of applied sciences degree: is the study load appropriately distributed, are the deadlines feasible, can students complete their programme without delays? “That’s different from simply obtaining a degree,” explains Belleman. “Someone can graduate quickly but still feel like it was a struggle, or the other way around.”
For the first time the Universities of Applied Sciences Study Guide will include associate degree programmes. These are two-year university of applied sciences degrees that have grown tremendously in recent years and today attract large numbers of students.