10 February 2017 • HOP, Hein Cuppen
Universities should give transfer students better support
Universities should do more to promote bridging programmes among students in bachelor’s degree programmes at universities of applied sciences and not place extra demands on them anymore. Students taking these bridging programmes should also be able to get a student loan from the Education Executive Agency (DUO).
According to a majority in the Lower House, students attending universities of applied sciences (HBOs) already have to overcome too many obstacles to be able to enter a bridging programme at a university. This also applies to bachelor’s degree students from a university who want to enrol in a different bachelor’s degree programme.
During a debate last week with Minister Bussemaker, the Lower House urged that something had to be done, and soon, about the fact that fewer HBO graduates are continuing their education at a university. Minister Bussemaker wants to await the findings of a study first, but this would only delay things according to the Lower House.
A substantial majority voted in favour of a motion submitted by PvdA MPs Mei Li Vos and Amma Asante, who proposed that universities should actively promote their bridging programmes and no longer pose additional demands. This would also entail conducting research into why transfer students are unable to enrol at certain universities and are thus ineligible for a student loan.
It was last week that the VU University Amsterdam sounded the alarm regarding its transfer students saying that it would be too expensive to offer these kinds of special programmes. Any compensation for these high costs, however, was not addressed by the PvdA’s motion that was accepted on Wednesday. The only parties voting against it were the PVV, CDA, SGP and the Groep Bontes/Van Klaveren.