3 October 2016 • Door HOP, Bas Belleman/Youri van Vliet
THUAS voted best university of applied sciences in the Randstad conurbation, but loses ‘top degree programmes’
Last year THUAS shared the title ‘Best university of applied sciences in the Randstad conurbation’ with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. This year the annual university of applied sciences Study Guide for 2017 places THUAS above the other universities of applied sciences in the Randstad conurbation. It has, however, lost two ‘top degree programmes’.
That THUAS, with its 7 th place (available in Dutch only), is the best university of applied sciences in the Randstad conurbation, is not so much because of gaining a higher score – just like last year (available in Dutch only) THUAS was granted 58 points – but because the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences’ score dropped from 58 to 56 points. Avans heads the list with a score of 67.5.
The research department is currently analysing each degree programme (available in Dutch only), and the results will be shared later. But what immediately stands out is that THUAS no longer has any degree programmes with a score of 76 or more and the title ‘top degree programme’. The number of points for Process & Food Technology fell from 82 to 70. Similarly, the points for Spatial Development | Climate & Management fell even more dramatically, from 80 to 66.
Over the last few years, Avans topped the league table as the best of the large universities of applied sciences. According to the Study Guide, large universities of applied sciences have the reputation for being bureaucratic educational factories in which there are no opportunities for good teachers. But this does not apply to Avans. ‘Avans has been at the top of the heavyweights for years. You hardly notice that you are one of thirty thousand students. The school is divided into twenty faculties which operate highly independently.’
In contrast, Inholland has always struggled to keep their students satisfied and is once again at the bottom of the league table, just below Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences which is twice as big. Still, things are going better than in previous years, say the compilers of the Study Guide. ‘The economic degree programmes are better than those at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and, even better, the small music course in Haarlem is a real winner.’
Two medium-sized universities of applied sciences tower above Avans. These are the Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences and the green HAS University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch. Further, there are a few exceptional degree programmes among the small universities of applied sciences, such as the primary education teacher training at De Kempel.
Elsevier also published its league table in its weekly magazine this week. In general, the same universities of applied sciences came top of the league, except for a couple of noticeable differences. Elsevier puts Leiden University of Applied Science, for example, at second place among the larger universities of applied sciences, while the Study Guide places it squarely in the middle.
Similarly, the two rankings are not in agreement about the Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences. Elsevier puts it in third place among the ‘specialised universities of applied sciences’, while the Study Guide rates it as the best of the medium-sized universities of applied sciences.
The differences stem from the methodologies used by Elsevier and the Study Guide. Elsevier looks at students’ level of general satisfaction of their degree programmes in the National Student Survey and then counts the number of degree programmes that scored above average in a university of applied sciences. While the Study Guide also uses that survey, it also looks at more questions, such as those about lecturers and study load. Further, the editors look at how fast the students graduate, how many lessons they get and the opinion of the educational inspector from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.