5 March 2018 • Leonie van Ewijk
Study delay: how does it happen?
Many students experience a delay in their studies. On both the national level and at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the average number of study months has been increasing for some time now. In 2008, it took students around 53.7 months to graduate, while it took 56.6 months in 2015 (source: The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences). What causes a study delay?
A study delay is costly, not only in terms of time and money, but maybe even a good job opportunity. In addition, if all you have left to finish is your thesis or to catch up on the course curriculum, you no longer have your fellow students around you and are 100% responsible for your own motivation and discipline. Although most students are aware of these negative aspects, some still end up with a study delay. The reason is often unexpected.
Linda Oerlemans, 22, is a fifth-year student of European Studies who is taking longer to graduate than originally expected. “It’s because I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student. The semesters are different there, which meant that, once I returned, there were several courses I could not take anymore. If I’d known beforehand that this would result in a study delay, I would’ve chosen a different country. But done is done. Besides, I’m under a lot less pressure now.”
Everything works out in the end
Sten Polman, 22 and a fifth-year student of Climate & Management, ended up with a study delay due to the late completion of a project. “Everything will work out in the end. Personally, I’m not worried. Everyone in my student housing is a serious student, but with a relaxed approach. I want to follow my own path and not be pressured by society.”
In response to the question of whether Polman is concerned about the financial aspects, he says, “I wouldn’t miss student life for the world and I do everything at my own pace. It may cost a little more, but once I get my diploma, I’ll earn enough to pay it all back.”
According to the European Studies programme, in some some semesters a small number of students returns later than the rest, depending on their exchange destination. The programme has a protocol for such situations to make sure that teachers are informed and that students who miss a few classes can still participate in the programme. Whenever possible, students are informed about this before going on exchange.
Sten Polman: “I want to follow my own path and not be pressured by society.”