MAASTRICHT. Just like last year, the three young, broad bachelor's programmes at Maastricht - University College Maastricht, University College Venlo and the Science Program - are a cut above the rest of the UM bachelor's. Their resounding results, all eight plus, cast a shadow on the fives, sixes and the odd seven of the rest.
Keuzegids 2019, which will be published on Thursday 15 November, contains the annual assessment of university bachelor’s programmes in the Netherlands. The guide bases itself on the results of the National Student Survey, (Nationale Studentenenquête, NSE) and the views of experts (NVAO).
The UM did less well than last year. On the rankings of the eight smaller, more specialist institutes, Maastricht has dropped from fourth to fifth place (getting a 6.4). At the top of the list is Wageningen (7.4), while Rotterdam is at the bottom (5.5). Taking the lead in the “broad traditional” universities is Nijmegen (6.3).
A total of eighteen Maastricht bachelor’s programmes were surveyed. Last year, seven UM programmes ended up in first place in their respective categories, against five this time. In addition to UCM (UCVenlo follows in second place) and the Science Program, the programmes concerned are European Studies, Fiscal Economy, and Knowledge Engineering.
UCM also holds top place on the UM list, with an 8.8, followed by UCVenlo (8.6). Impressive marks, but they were a lot higher last year. Venlo achieved an unlikely score of 10.6.
Number three and the strongest riser is the Science Program: in 2017 it was good for a 6.8, in 2018 one point more (7.8), and now well over an eight (8.4), putting them in first place in the category of interdisciplinary scientific bachelor’s programmes. All three receive the ‘Top Programme’ mark of quality that is given to studies with a 7.5 or higher.
The lowest Maastricht score this year goes to the European Law School (5.0) crashing from first place to fourth. Tilburg is now at the top of the list. Students complain about testing and feasibility of the study load and feel that the number of contact hours is rather small. In addition a lot of students drop out in first year. Dutch Law, after an improvement last year when they jumped from seventh to third place, has now dropped a little again. The programme is now in fourth place (5.4). Here too, there are complaints about the number of contact hours and study load. A remarkable point is that the students of Dutch Law are less satisfied about the facilities than their colleagues from ELS, while it concerns the same issues.
Another remarkable outcome is the “fierce criticism” from Psychology students about testing. They put their programme in second place (6.4), the facilities are “great,” Keuzegids writes, but exams “don't relate to the subject matter very well and important knowledge and skills are not tested”.
Biomedical Sciences is slowly climbing from the abyss. Still in sixth and last place, but the mark is higher, going up from 4.8 to 5.4. Students are dissatisfied about testing, study load and lecturers. Miles ahead and taking the lead is Leiden (8.8).
The UM proudly takes the lead in two areas: the English language proficiency of Maastricht lecturers is best of all (7.4) and Maastricht University is also the most international of all Dutch universities.