Photographer:Fotograaf: Joey Roberts
Busiest Bachelor’s Open Day ever
MAASTRICHT. Last Saturday saw the busiest Bachelor’s Open Day in Maastricht University’s history, with as many as 3100 school students descending on the city. In November 2012, which previously held the record for the busiest Open Day, UM welcomed under 2800 prospective students. A large number of this year’s pupils (almost 2100) were Dutch, up from 1300 at last year’s event. Like last year, around 300 German visitors were also in attendance.
Most of the attendees did not come alone but were accompanied by parents or friends, bringing the total number of visitors to between 6000 and 9000, according to one of the organisers, Chantalle Berghmans.
The strong domestic interest probably reflects the university’s active recruitment efforts, UM president Martin Paul said last week during a committee meeting of the University Council. He expects the proportion of Dutch first-year students to increase in the coming year. Last September that proportion dropped to 36 percent, well shy of the 50 percent target (for the student population as a whole) set out in the university’s strategic plan. “We attribute this decline to the introduction of the loan system,” Paul said last week, “but also to the growth in the number of foreign students, particularly at psychology, where an English-language bachelor’s programme was launched this year. We expect this number to level off in 2016 now that other English-language psychology programmes are being introduced elsewhere in the Netherlands.”
The new component of the Open Day, ‘talking to an international student’, was a success: 350 school students – both Dutch and foreign – sat down in the Student Services Centre to chat with an international student. Further, a special bus route ran between the city centre and Randwyck and donations were collected for Serious Request, an initiative to be held this year in Heerlen to raise money for the Red Cross.
At 9.30 on the morning of the Open Day, a minute of silence was observed for the Paris attacks. Social media traffic was also kept to a minimum out of respect for the victims: the organisers refrained from posting messages and the selfie competition among participants was cancelled.
Video made by the UM Student Video Team.