MAASTRICHT. In the past year, 93 per cent of all foreign first-year bachelors – 1,200 were expected – participated in one of the two free Basic Dutch courses. Two thirds of them passed the exam.
It was the first time that Maastricht University had granted the long-desired wish of various student groups: free Dutch courses for foreign students. Knowledge of the Dutch language (in addition to English) is after all essential at an international university and crucial in preparing foreign students for the regional and Dutch labour market.
The courses were very popular, with 1,116 enrolments over the whole academic year. In comparison: in 2012 – when participants had to pay 75 euro per module – a total of 455 participants enrolled for a basic Dutch course, in 2011 there were 612. In particular in the first semester, it was extremely busy, as the evaluation by the Language Centre shows. More than half of the students (55 per cent) were from Germany.
In the end, 6.5 per cent of those who enrolled did not turn up (no show), the number of dropouts was 18.5 per cent.
First-year foreign bachelors again have the opportunity to take one or two free Basic Dutch courses this year. What is new this year, is the fact that the courses are now also available for master’s students. The cost for the master’s students will be paid from the UM Innovation Fund for 2014-2016.